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Total Shoulder Replacement

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The shoulder has a greater range of motion than any other joint in our body, but because it can perform so many movements, the shoulder is vulnerable to stress, injury, and arthritis.  Arthritis is a major cause of shoulder pain.

Arthritis is a common disease that causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. It affects the cartilage in joints.  Cartilage is a very tough, shock absorbing material that covers the ends of many of our bones.  The cartilage forms a smooth surface and allows the bones in our joints to glide easily during motion.  Arthritis can cause the cartilage to wear away. Loss of the protective lining can cause painful bone on bone rubbing.

Severe shoulder arthritis can be quite painful and can cause restriction of motion.  While the symptoms of shoulder arthritis may be tolerated with some medications and lifestyle adjustments, there may come a time when surgical treatment is necessary.  Shoulder replacement surgery, also called Arthroplasty, involves the replacement of the damaged bone and cartilage with metal and plastic implants.  Shoulder Arthroplasty is a treatment option that can relieve pain and restore function.  Very often, people tolerate their symptoms for long periods of time because the arm is not a weight bearing extremity.  For this reason, arthritis of the shoulder is not as common as in the hip and knee.  As such, most people know someone who has had a hip or knee replacement, but many people do not even know that shoulder replacement is an option.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Author Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on January 15th, 2013. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.

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