Shoulder joint resurfacing gives individuals with early to mid-stage arthritis relief from pain. Advances in shoulder joint resurfacing now make it possible for Dr. Hayter to resurface both the ball and socket of the shoulder joint. Previously, the technique was limited to the ball side, leaving the socket alone and as a result it did not provide the same amount of pain relief offered by a full shoulder replacement.
In a healthy shoulder joint, a smooth and slick tissue called cartilage covers the ends of the bones, which allows them to glide over each other as the joint moves. In those with arthritis, that cartilage is worn down which leads to pain, inflammation and stiffness in the joint as the rough surface of the deteriorated joint grinds against itself. Some people with arthritis might even feel that grinding in their shoulder joint while others may feel weakness, stiffness or have trouble with basic activities like throwing a ball.
Shoulder resurfacing is able to decrease that pain by replacing the area of the eroded cartilage with metal and plastic. This procedure is less invasive than total joint replacement in that patients retain the majority of their own tissue and have only the damaged portion of the joint replaced.
What is Shoulder Resurfacing?
Shoulder resurfacing is an alternative to a total shoulder replacement. Rather than cutting and replacing the two bones (humerus and scapula) in the joint, the damaged top of the arm bone (the humeral head) is replaced with a hemispheric metallic head. This gives a new surface to the ball of the joint while allowing much of the natural bone to remain intact. The resurfacing prosthesis is affixed to the bone after the diseased or injured portion is removed.
Shoulder resurfacing may offer more bone retention, and if future revision surgery is necessary, the surgery is less involved making the recuperation much faster for the patient. The injured or diseased shoulder joint must not be too advanced for this procedure, patient selection is critical to optimal success. Dr. Hayter is highly skilled in identifying proper candidates who would benefit most from shoulder resurfacing.
Who is a candidate for shoulder resurfacing?
As a more conservative procedure, shoulder resurfacing may be ideal for those who need help alleviating pain and increasing mobility, but don't need a total replacement yet. Resurfacing can be used in patients with mild to moderate arthritis that is confined to the humeral head. It can be ideal for people experiencing the following:
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Avascular necrosis.
- Rotator cuff disease or injury.
- Post trauma arthritis.
What are benefits of having shoulder resurfacing?
Shoulder resurfacing is generally thought of as an alternative to total shoulder replacement. Only skilled surgeons can determine if this procedure is appropriate for a patient. If Dr. Hayter determines shoulder resurfacing to be the best option for a patient, there are several benefits to having shoulder resurfacing:
- Restoration of normal anatomy.
- Less-traumatic surgery.
- No risk of fat embolus from surgery trauma.
- Resurfacing can be done even if the bone is deformed.
- No risk of fracture at the tip of the prosthesis.
- Quicker recovery with less pain.
- Easy revision surgery if needed.
What should patients expect after shoulder resurfacing?
Shoulder Resurfacing Surgery can be performed as an Outpatient procedure.
A sling must be worn for up to 2 weeks and a few weeks of exercises at home are needed to restore motion to the joint.
Total recovery depends on the person, but many are driving after two to six weeks and golfing after three months. High-contact sports are generally not allowed because it could lead to complications.