Shoulder Surgery

Memorial Orthopaedic Surgical Group

located in Long Beach, CA

Some 53,000 Americans undergo shoulder replacement surgery each year, a procedure that can relieve painful and debilitating conditions like arthritis. At Memorial Orthopaedic Surgical Group in Long Beach, California, the experienced team of orthopaedic surgeons specializes in joint replacement procedures, like shoulder surgery, to provide pain relief and restore joint mobility. If you have severe shoulder pain, call Memorial Orthopaedic Surgical Group or schedule an appointment online today.

Shoulder Surgery Q & A

What is shoulder surgery?

Shoulder surgery, or a total shoulder replacement, involves removing the damaged or diseased head and cartilage of your shoulder joint and replacing it with synthetic pieces made of metal and plastic.

Your doctor might recommend this treatment for several reasons, including:

  • Severe shoulder pain that disrupts everyday activities
  • Moderate to severe pain, even while resting
  • Reduced range of motion or weakness in your shoulder

A shoulder replacement might also be an option if you haven’t responded to less invasive therapies, like anti-inflammatory medications, joint injections, or physical therapy.

How does the shoulder work?

Your shoulder has three bones, including the:

  • Collarbone (clavicle)
  • Shoulder blade (scapula)
  • Arm bone (humerus)

Together, your collarbone and shoulder blade form the glenoid, or a small socket that holds the ball at the top end of your arm bone. This ball-and-socket joint is known as your glenohumeral joint.

In addition to bones, your shoulder joint also includes cartilage and synovium that provides smooth movement where the bones come together. They’re all held in place by your rotator cuff, a collection of muscles and tendons attaching your upper arm and shoulder blade.

Why do I need shoulder surgery?

Your doctor might recommend a shoulder replacement for several reasons, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Severe fractures

Sometimes, your doctor might also suggest shoulder surgery to correct issues from a previously performed shoulder replacement procedure that wasn’t successful.

How do you perform shoulder surgery?

During your shoulder surgery, your provider removes the head of your arm bone and reshapes your shoulder socket, or glenoid. After removing all signs of damage or disease, they insert a plastic replacement glenoid component and fix it in place with bone cement.

To prepare your arm bone for its new head, or ball, your doctor hollows out the upper portion of your humerus and inserts a metal stem. This stem holds the new metal ball of your arm bone.

After replacing your arm and shoulder joint, your doctor joins them together in place to form your new shoulder joint.

To learn more about shoulder surgery, call Memorial Orthopaedic Surgical Group or schedule an appointment online today.