Shoulder Replacement
Rotator Cuff Repair



Total shoulder arthroplasty, or total shoulder replacement, is not as common as hip and knee replacement. The hip and knee are considered weight bearing joints. In other words, the weight of the body passes through these joints. Because of that, these joints are much more susceptible to wear and tear. Since the weight of the body does not pass through the shoulder, arthritic changes are less common.  Still, arthritis can occur in this joint for a variety of reasons. Inflammatory arthritis's such as Rheumatoid or Lupus can occur as well as post traumatic arthritis. Some people are just genetically prone to arthritis in multiple parts of their body and develop arthritis despite the lack of weight passing through that joint.


Most people know friends or family who have had hip or knee replacements, but shoulder replacement is less common. Very few doctors perform total shoulder replacement and it is a difficult operation. However, for those physicians who are familiar with performing this procedure, it has proven to be an excellent operation for relief of pain and restoration of motion. In total shoulder replacement,  the arm side of the joint is replaced with a metal ball and the shoulder side is replaced with a plastic cup.  Some physicians only replace the arm side and leave the shoulder side alone. In this procedure, the metal ball in the arm continues to rotate with bone on the shoulder side. This procedure has not proven to have the same pain relief as total replacement of the joint but is still indicated in some younger patients.


Dr. Allison is a joint reconstruction specialist. He routinely performs total shoulder replacement and has an excellent success rate. This surgery is performed through one incision in the front of the shoulder. Most patients stay in the hospital overnight and return home the next day. Physical therapy begins after about 2 weeks and most patients are over the operation and back to regular activities within about 6 to 8 weeks. Like hip and knee replacement, shoulder replacement surgery has a long history of success. Since no weight is placed across the shoulder joint, the replacement can be expected to last for many years to come. If shoulder pain is limiting your life, call Dr. Allisonís office for an evaluation.

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Shoulder Replacement



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