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St. Vincent Healthcare
 
 
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Shoulder Replacement

Think about the wide range of motion permitted by the shoulder joint. The very fact that the shoulder is the most movable and flexible joint in the body also means it is one of the most fragile. Problems can arise from either chronic wear or sudden injury. These problems can be extremely painful, and can be life-altering if left untreated. Many chronic shoulder problems can be traced to over-use motions - typically repeated overhead movements that may be common in certain occupations. Weekend athletes and do-it-yourselfers can also be affected by the routine motions required to golf, play tennis, swim, lift weights or work on common construction projects. The most likely causes of shoulder pain include tendonitis, bursitis, and an inflamed rotator cuff. Collectively, this group of conditions is called shoulder impingement syndrome. In some cases, such as with advanced arthritis of the shoulder, a shoulder replacement maybe recommended.

Total Shoulder Replacement
Shoulder replacement involves resurfacing the areas of the bones that meet in the shoulder joint. The ball-shaped end of the upper arm or humerus is replaced with a metal component, while the socket shaped glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade is relined with special plastic. Shoulder replacement can offer improved strength and range of motion as well as reduce pain. With any surgery there are risks and these need to be fully discussed with your doctor. Shoulder replacement is usually performed at a hospital using general anesthesia, though regional anesthesia may be an option for some patients. Your doctor and anesthesiologist will discuss which option is best for you.

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