Shoulder replacements may be used in the management of arthritis of the shoulder, following fractures to the shoulder or occasionally for other indications.
They should be expected to provide good pain relief and a functional range of movement but they do not give you a normal shoulder!
Use the links below to find out more about specific shoulder replacements.
Anatomic replacement is the name given to conventional shoulder replacement. In an anatomic replacement the ball of the shoulder(humerus) is replaced with a metal hemisphere and the socket (glenoid) of the shoulder is replaced with a plastic component.
An anatomic replacement relies on the normal function of the rotator cuff tendons.
Reverse Polarity Shoulder Replacement
Reverse polarity shoulder replacement is a non-anatomic replacement that seeks to address the issue of arthritis in the presence of a non-functioning or torn rotator cuff.
The shoulder joint is 'reversed' and hence a metal hemisphere is attached to the shoulder socket and a plastic cup is fixed to the humeral stem.
Hemiarthroplasty is a half shoulder replacements where only the ball side of the joint is replaced. This may be just with a cap of metal (resurfacing) or with a stemmed prosthesis.
I use hemiarthroplasty only infrequently for very specific indications.