The shoulder is an incredible and uniquely designed joint that allows the arm to rotate and move forward, back, and side-to-side. Depending on a patient’s age and activity level, the shoulder’s design can make it prone to pain and various injuries, including rotator cuff tears, shoulder impingement, and osteoarthritis, impacting normal function and the quality of life.
Fortunately, the recent advances in conventional shoulder replacement surgery benefit many patients with improved mobility and function with quicker recovery times.
Let’s learn about the new surgical techniques available for shoulder replacement surgery and where you can go for outstanding joint replacement surgery in Baltimore, MD.
When is a Replacement Surgery Needed?
Treatment for chronic shoulder pain and arthritis typically starts with first-line therapies, such as physical therapy and pain management, using medication or injections.
In some cases of minor joint injury, minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques may alleviate pain and help with function. However, when these conservative treatments fail, it may be time to explore shoulder replacement surgery.
Candidates for surgical intervention often present with shoulder conditions, such as:
- rotator cuff tear impacts the muscles surrounding the shoulder and controls the movement of the shoulder. The risk of rotator-cuff damage increases with age as the muscles and tendons begin to degenerate and weaken. Rotator cuff tears can occur in younger people, following a shoulder injury or overuse.
- Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis in the shoulder. It typically occurs in adults over the age of 50. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that lines the joints begins to wear away, causing the bones to rub against each other.
- Shoulder impingement syndrome is a painful condition that occurs when the tendons in the shoulder are irritated, inflamed, or degenerated from repetitive overhead motions or structural abnormalities.
Most patients who opt for surgery have suffered from prolonged pain and/or a major injury to the shoulder. In addition to new surgical innovations, the design of traditional shoulder-replacement implants has greatly improved, providing even better long-term function and pain relief.
Conventional Shoulder Surgery Gets a Modern Update
Over the past several years, conventional shoulder-replacement procedures have benefited from innovations that help improve recovery time and post-surgery function. The surgeons at OACM offer an exciting new technology named ExacttechGPS®, which uses computer navigation to provide optimal positioning and fixation of the shoulder implant.
How Exactech GPS Works
ExactechGPS pairs surgeon expertise with an advanced computer system to perform the patient’s shoulder surgery with the goal of improved accuracy and precision. A pre-operative CT scan is first performed to create a virtual image of the patient’s shoulder. The surgeon can then view this virtual image in real-time during the procedure.
During the surgery, a tracker is placed on the patient’s shoulder bone that sends data to the surgeon’s computer screen on the patient’s exact anatomical structure and joint movement. This unique technology allows for more consistent and accurate implant placement for optimal postoperative mobility.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Another new variation to traditional shoulder replacement surgery is the reverse shoulder replacement procedure. This technique is recommended for people with a completely torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired, severe arthritis with rotator-cuff damage, or prior failed shoulder surgery.
In contrast to total shoulder replacement surgery (shoulder arthroplasty), the artificial joint components are placed in reversed positions (the ball and socket in the joint are switched) to allow the deltoid muscle at the shoulder to raise the arm.
For reverse shoulder replacement and the ExactechGPS procedure, postoperative physical therapy is recommended to help patients restore their range of motion, strength, and joint stability.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Baltimore, MD
If you are looking for shoulder replacement surgery, you can trust the specialists of The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics – Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (CAO-OACM). Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Sam Sydney, has 30 years of experience in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, including shoulder replacement, and is trained in up-to-date medical treatments to provide quality and affordable healthcare. Our state-of-the-art clinics are accessible and open to serve patients all over Maryland.
You may call our friendly staff at (410) 644-1880 or (855)4MD-BONE (463-2663) to learn about our comprehensive services. You may also use our secure request form to schedule a consultation with a top orthopedic surgeon in Baltimore.
We look forward to serving you!