Shoulder replacement surgery is the fastest growing joint replacement surgery in the United States. University Orthopedics’ Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon E. Scott Paxton, MD discusses the basics of this surgery, what the options are, and who is a good candidate.
Arthritis or injury can also damage the shoulder joint preventing a person from lifting their arm. In severe cases, the only treatment available is shoulder joint replacement surgery. University Orthopedics performs both “shoulder replacement” and “reverse shoulder replacement” surgery. Shoulder replacement surgery has been around since the 1950s and was originally used for severe fractures, but because of its success, it has since been broadened to address arthritis. Today, about 23,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery. Patients with bone-on-bone contact are typically good candidates for shoulder replacement surgery, where an artificial ball and socket joint is installed into the shoulder. Reverse shoulder replacement is another variation that was developed in the 1980s. This is used for those with completely torn rotator cuffs or who have had a shoulder replacement surgery that did not relieve symptoms or restore motion significantly. In reverse shoulder replacement surgery, the position of the ball and socket is “reversed” where the ball is applied to the shoulder and the plastic socket is attached to the upper arm. This enables the person to lift the arm using a different muscle than the rotator cuff.
About E. Scott Paxton, MD
E. Scott Paxton, MD is a member of the Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He completed fellowship training in the treatment of problems of the shoulder and elbow at the renowned Rothman Institute in Philadelphia where he trained with many of the world’s leaders in shoulder and elbow surgery.
The typical problems that he evaluates and treats include rotator cuff tears and impingement, shoulder and elbow instability and dislocations, shoulder and elbow arthritis, shoulder fractures (humerus, glenoid, scapula, and clavicle), elbow fractures, malunions and nonunions of these fractures, tendon injuries of the shoulder and elbow, labral tears, throwing injuries and other sports injuries of the upper extremity.