6 Conditions That Can Lead To A Shoulder Replacement

Though not as common as other types of joint replacements, shoulder replacement surgery is still a procedure that tens of thousands of Americans undergo every year. At Greater Dallas Orthopaedics, a unique specialty of ours is revision shoulder joint replacements, which involves repairing or replacing an existing replacement joint.

Saving the topic of what leads to a revision shoulder joint replacement for another post, we’d instead like to focus on what conditions typically lead a patient to receive the initial shoulder joint replacement in the first place. While the total number of conditions that could result in this procedure is much longer than the list below, the six items we’ve included here are among the most common. For many patients, it’s not a single condition that results in a replacement being required, but a combination of a few.

Shoulder Replacements in Dallas - Greater Dallas Orthopaedics

1. Degenerative Joint Disease

For individuals above the age of 50, it becomes extremely common for joint wear & tear in conjunction with osteoarthritis to cause joint pain that ultimately leads to a joint replacement. As cartilage slowly wears down and bone-on-bone contact becomes more common, the shoulder joint will become more rigid and result in increasing pain. This single cause is the most common condition that results in a joint replacement taking place.

2. Severe Fractures

Serious injury to the bones in the shoulder, or any joint for that matter, is a very common reason a joint replacement may be recommended. This is especially true for older patients. Between the complexity of interlocking bones in joints and the potential loss of blood supply to those bones following a severe fracture, the safest and most effective solution for a patient may very well be a complete shoulder joint replacement.

3. Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy

Over time, following a severe rotator cuff tear or injury, the way an individual’s shoulder joint naturally compensates for the pain and lack of strength can lead to cartilage wear and bone-on-bone contact. The pain and stiffness are similar to what was mentioned above regarding degenerative joint disease. For similar reasons, a shoulder joint replacement may be recommended.

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4. Post-Traumatic Arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that develops following a severe injury to a joint, including fractures, tears, ligament damage, and more. The chronic pain and lack of mobility this arthritis causes, coupled with the severe injury that caused it, often leads to a shoulder joint replacement.

5. Rheumatoid Arthritis

This form of arthritis, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, leads to inflammation that ultimately results in cartilage stiffness, pain, and loss. With the cartilage worn down, the bones in the shoulder begin rubbing against one another, leading to greater pain and lack of mobility. Shoulder joint replacement is often the best course of action to restore a patient’s pre-arthritis quality of life.

6. Osteonecrosis

Osteonecrosis, or avascular necrosis, occurs when a bone’s blood supply is cut off for any number of reasons. When the shoulder’s blood supply is cut off, it can lead to arthritis and the destruction of the joint. In many cases of osteonecrosis, especially severe cases, shoulder joint replacement surgery is the only course of action.

No matter what condition has led you or a loved one to require shoulder joint replacement surgery, rest assured that the procedure has become exceptionally reliable, providing long-term relief from pain. However, if you’re among the less-than-2% of patients whose joint replacement has failed, we encourage you to reach out to our team at Greater Dallas Orthopaedics to start the conversation about a revision joint replacement. 

No other team in the region has more experience providing relief to those in need of a revision shoulder joint replacement surgery.

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