Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (Total Shoulder Replacement)

Anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty removes damaged sections of the humerus bones and cartilage. Metal or plastic components reinforce and replace the damaged or diseased bones, allowing for less painful shoulder movement.

What You Need To Know About Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

What is Anatomic Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Anatomic shoulder arthroplasty—also known as anatomic total shoulder replacement—restores arm mobility and reduces pain. Candidates for anatomic shoulder arthroplasty include patients currently experiencing degenerative shoulder arthritis or who have suffered severe shoulder injury. Anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty is meant to restore strength, function, and position.

Many patients can return to their previous lifestyles after their anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty. Learn more about anatomic shoulder arthroplasty by visiting the shoulder specialists at Resurgens Orthopaedics now.

Why is Anatomic Shoulder Arthroplasty Performed?

As you get older, the cartilage between your joints breaks down. This breakdown causes bones to rub against one another uncomfortably. Loss of cartilage in your shoulder causes the joint's ball and socket to rub against itself, causing pain. Replacing your worn-out ball and socket joint with an artificial component stops the painful sensation of bone rubbing against bone.

Anatomic shoulder arthroplasty is usually only recommended for people experiencing severe osteoarthritis of the shoulder. People who meet the criteria of extreme shoulder arthritis may experience:

People who meet the criteria of extreme shoulder arthritis may experience:

  • Severe pain that disrupts sleep

  • Pain flare-ups when using the joint or making overhead movement

  • Intense pain that doesn't subside with treatments like anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, steroid injections, or arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

How to Prepare for Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Properly preparing for anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty can help improve your results. Before your surgery, ask your doctor about anything they would like you to help prepare for surgery. Make sure to disclose any medications you're currently taking as they may affect your procedure and recovery.

Arrange for someone to help you with transportation and support after surgery. Simple tasks like laundry, housework, dressing, and meals are more challenging following total shoulder arthroplasty. You will need someone to help you for at least six weeks.

Stop taking anti-inflammatory medications two weeks before surgery. Your doctor will be able to provide further instructions for anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty.

What Happens During an Anatomic Shoulder Arthroplasty Procedure?

Anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty is a common surgery. During the procedure, you are anesthetized and should not feel any pain. While every situation is different, an anatomic shoulder arthroplasty generally follows this workflow:

  • You are admitted into a facility where we check your vital signs and monitor your bodily reactions.

  • You are gently anesthetized with a narcotic designed to block your pain.

  • After you have achieved a twilight state, your surgeon makes an incision to access your shoulder. This incision is made in a relatively nerve-free area. The strategic placement helps minimize nerve damage.

  • Next, your surgeon cuts through the muscles blocking the rotator cuff. With these muscles out of the way, the surgeon can access and operate on the shoulder ball and socket.

  • Then the parts of the joint with arthritic damage are removed.

  • After clearing space in the joint, your surgeon inserts the artificial socket.

  • Finally, the incision is closed, cleaned, and bandaged. You are moved into an observation room while you slowly regain consciousness.

Are There Risks Associated with Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Every surgery has its own set of inherent risks. That said, complications of shoulder arthroplasty are relatively rare. Less than 5% of patients will experience adverse reactions. These can include:

  • Joint stiffness

  • Loose socket causing joint instability

  • Nerve damage

  • Infection

Your Resurgens Orthopaedics physician will be able to provide you with a more thorough rundown about complications of shoulder arthroplasty.

Post Anatomic Total Shoulder Arthroplasty & Recovery

You will be moved to a recovery room immediately after your physician completes your anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty. Your arm will be immobilized and set in a sling. Once you have been cleared for discharge, an independently-arranged caretaker will take you back to your home.

During your at-home recovery, it can take up to three months for you to regain the former range of motion of your arm. Physical rehabilitation will be necessary during your recovery. Performing simple at-home exercises will help prevent joint stiffness.

After three weeks, you can resume regular bathing. While the incision can become prior to the three-week mark, baths are not recommended until after three weeks. Most patients will be unable to operate machinery for up to six weeks following their anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty.

Shoulder pain can limit your life and interfere with your goals. Schedule an appointment with the shoulder experts at Resurgens Orthopaedics now!