What is Partial Shoulder Replacement?
Partial shoulder replacement, also called shoulder hemiarthroplasty is a surgical procedure during which the upper bone in the arm (humerus) is replaced with a prosthetic metal implant, whereas the other half of the shoulder joint (glenoid or socket) is left intact.
Indications of Partial Shoulder Replacement
This surgical procedure is indicated in severe, persistent conditions of shoulder osteoarthritis in which the only the humeral head or ball of the joint is damaged, and in very young patients. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage that allows smooth movement in the joints wears away causing the adjacent bone to rub against each other resulting in pain and stiffness. In such conditions, replacement of the damaged portion of the humerus will reduce the friction as bone ends can no longer come in contact and thus relieve pain.
Procedure of Partial Shoulder Replacement
Surgery remains as a sole treatment option when all possible conservative means of treatment such as rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physiotherapy have been ineffective in resolving your symptoms. While the procedure may relieve your pain and other symptoms, there may also be associated risks and complications as with any major surgery.
Risks and Complications of Partial Shoulder Replacement
Potential risks and complications that may occur following shoulder hemiarthroplasty include infection, instability, fractures of the humerus or scapula, shoulder stiffness, damage to the blood vessels and nerves.