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Shoulder/Upper Extremity

Many people know someone with an artificial knee or hip joint. Shoulder replacement is less common. But it is just as successful in relieving joint pain. Shoulder replacement surgery started in the United States in the 1950s. It was used as a treatment for severe shoulder fractures. Over the years, this surgery has come to be used for many other painful conditions of the shoulder. These include:

  • Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Rotator cuff tear arthropathy (a combination of severe arthritis and a massive non-reparable rotator cuff tendon tear)
  • Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis)
  • Failed previous shoulder replacement surgery

Rotator Cuff Tears

The rotator cuff is the network of four muscles and several tendons that form a covering around the top of the upper arm bone (humerus). These muscles form a cover around the head of the humerus. The rotator cuff holds the humerus in place in the shoulder joint and enables the arm to rotate.

Rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. Most tears occur in the supraspinatus muscle, but other parts of the cuff may be involved.