Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Alternatives

Arthritis treatment is very complex, as it depends on the type of arthritis and the severity of symptoms. Alternatives to joint replacement may include medications and therapy. It is known that arthritis is characterized by an increased rate of cartilage...

degradation and a decreased rate of cartilage production. An experimental therapy featuring the use of such joint supplements as glucosamine and chondroitin is being investigated for its effectiveness to repair cartilage. The pain and inflammation resulting from arthritis are also commonly treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication (NSAIDs) or cortisone injections (steroidal).


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Knee joints or finger joints are fairly easy to understand--they facilitate back and forth movement; however, anywhere that two bones meet in the body there is some sort of joint. This animation describes the different joints in the body and what anatomical structures make up joints.

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During a total shoulder joint replacement, an incision is first made in the shoulder and upper arm (A). The head of the humerus is removed with a bone saw (B). The shaft of the humerus is reamed with a bone rasp to ready it for the prosthesis (C). After the shoulder joint, or glenoid cavity, is similarly prepared, bone cement is applied to areas to receive prostheses (D). The ball and socket prostheses are put in place, and the incision is closed (E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) During a total shoulder joint replacement, an incision is first made in the shoulder and upper arm (A). The head of the humerus is removed with a bone saw (B). The shaft of the humerus is reamed with a bone rasp to ready it for the prosthesis (C). After the shoulder joint, or glenoid cavity, is similarly prepared, bone cement is applied to areas to receive prostheses (D). The ball and socket prostheses are put in place, and the incision is closed (E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Definition

Shoulder joint replacement surgery is performed to replace a shoulder joint with artificial components (prostheses) when the joint is severely damaged by such degenerative joint diseases as arthritis, or in complex cases of upper arm bone fracture.

Purpose

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the arms to be raised, twisted, bent, and moved forward, to the side and backward. The head of the upper arm bone (humerus) is the ball, and a circular cavity (glenoid) in the shoulder blade (scapula) is the socket. A soft-tissue rim (labrum) surrounds and deepens the socket. The head of the humerus is also covered with a smooth, tough tissue (articular cartilage); and the joint, also called the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, has a thin inner lining (synovium) that facilitates movement while surrounding muscles and tendons provide stability and support.


From http://www.answers.com/topic/shoulder-joint-replacement

Other Information

Orthopedic complaints are the most common reason to seek medical care.


From: About.com

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