When Shoulder Replacement Surgery is Needed
The shoulder is a “ball and socket” joint in which the arm bone (the ball) fits into the rounded top of the shoulder blade (the socket). Years of overuse can lead to arthritis, which occurs when the protective cartilage that covers the bone is worn away. This allows the ball and socket to rub against each other, which results in pain and limits the range of shoulder motion. Arthritis can also develop when a tear prevents the group of muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff from doing its job -- which is to control shoulder movement and hold the shoulder joint together.
When Conservative Approaches Don't Work
Duke shoulder surgeons will often start with conservative approaches to help you get relief from shoulder pain caused by arthritis. When nonsurgical methods don’t provide relief and you can no longer lift your arm to perform daily activities, shoulder replacement surgery may be recommended. The right procedure depends on your age, level of activity, and the severity of your shoulder arthritis.
Physical therapy is an integral part of your recovery. Our shoulder-specific physical therapists work closely with you to help you regain strength and movement in your shoulder in the weeks following your surgery.