According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, there are about 53,000 individuals in the U.S. who undergo shoulder replacement surgery every year. Shoulder replacement surgery is performed to treat extreme joint pain, limited range of shoulder motion, as well as to relieve patients from different forms of arthritis.
Though shoulder replacement procedures are claimed to be safe and effective, doctors only consider this if medication and other non-surgical treatments cannot solve problems complained of by patients. Many of those who have this procedure are actually relieved of their pain, besides being able to resume their daily activities as well as play again the sports they love, such as swimming, tennis and golf.
There are different types shoulder replacement procedures. The type of surgical procedure a patient need to undergo will depend on his/her doctor’s evaluation of his/her specific situation and health needs. These procedures include:
Total Shoulder Replacement. This involves the replacement of the original ball-and-socket surfaces of the shoulder with a prosthetic part that is similarly shaped.
Stemmed Hemiarthroplasty or Partial shoulder replacement. This surgical procedure is intended to replace the head of the humerus with a metal ball and stem. This is the recommended procedure if the humeral head has been severely fractured, but the socket is unharmed.
Resurfacing Hemiarthroplasty or Shoulder Resurfacing. This procedure involves replacement of the joint surface of the humeral head with a stemless, cap-like prosthesis.
Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement or Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty. In this procedure, the positions of the of the shoulder joint’s ball and socket switched or reversed. This means that the implant’s ball portion is attached to the scapula instead of to the humeral head, while the artificial socket is attached to the humeral head instead of to the scapula.
As explained by a shoulder replacement lawyer, shoulder replacement surgery is a popular corrective solution for those suffering from extreme joint pain or a limited range of shoulder motion. However, not all surgical procedures turn out as safe and effective as manufacturers promise due to defectively designed replacement implants. Thus, instead of increased function and minimized pain, patients are only made to suffer much worse pain; this situation also necessitates that they undergo a corrective surgery which, according to legal professionals, is simply unjust.