Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty

Stemless shoulder arthroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that repairs or replaces an injured shoulder. Metal and plastic components replace the damaged bones to improve mobility and pain in the shoulder.

What You Need To Know About Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty

What is Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Stemless shoulder arthroplasty is a type of shoulder replacement that aims to restore mobility and reduce pain in the shoulder. There is a ball in a healthy shoulder joint (also called the humeral head) that fits into a socket (or glenoid). This anatomy allows for the arm to move freely within the shoulder joint. If this motion is interrupted by an injury or disease, it can reduce mobility and cause significant pain.

During a traditional shoulder replacement implant, a stem is fitted into your upper arm bone and connected to a metal ball that replaces the humeral head. However, a stemless shoulder arthroplasty does not use a stem in the upper arm bone. Instead, the surgeon uses a smaller "anchor" or "cage" connecting the ball to the upper arm bone.

Stemless shoulder replacement preserves more of the natural bone, reducing postoperative pain and preventing more serious injury of the replaced shoulder. Get moving again by scheduling an appointment with a Resurgens shoulder specialist.

Why is Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty Performed?

Stemless shoulder arthroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that preserves more existing bone than traditional shoulder arthroplasty. This technique has many benefits, including:

  • Simpler implant installation during surgery

  • Less blood loss during the procedure

  • Shorter overall surgery time

  • Less pain after surgery

  • Preserves bone for potential future procedures

Stemless shoulder arthroplasty is often performed on people who have less bone damage or deterioration. The more natural bone that can be preserved, the better. This way, if a patient needs additional surgery, there is more bone for future procedures.

Candidates for stemless shoulder arthroplasty include patients who are struggling with degenerative shoulder arthritis or who have sustained a severe shoulder injury.

What Happens During a Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty Procedure?

When undergoing stemless shoulder arthroplasty, you will be anesthetized and should not feel any pain. While every patient's situation is different, stemless shoulder replacement usually follows this workflow:

  • You will go to the surgery facility, where we check your vitals and do pre-surgical monitoring.

  • We will administer anesthesia.

  • The surgeon will make a small incision and insert an arthroscope, which is a thin tube with a camera and light source.

  • The surgeon will then use surgical tools to separate the humerus (upper arm bone) from the glenoid (shoulder socket).

  • The damaged humeral head is removed and is replaced with a metal ball that has a small anchor.

  • The surgeon then reshapes the glenoid and replaces it with a new plastic component that is fixed into the shoulder bone.

  • Your shoulder is tested to make sure all components are working properly.

  • The incision is closed, cleaned, and bandaged. You will then move to a recovery room while you regain consciousness.

Directly after surgery, you will be moved to a recovery room, where your arm will be put in a sling. After we've determined that you can be discharged, an independently arranged caretaker will bring you back home.

Are There Risks Associated with Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty?

As with any procedure, there are inherent risks. However, complications of stemless shoulder arthroplasty are rare. Possible complications may include:

  • Infection

  • Nerve or tissue damage

  • Loosening or wear of the socket

  • Failure to relieve pain long-term

In fact, in a clinical study, more than 60% of patients had little to no pain six months after stemless shoulder arthroplasty. Plus, more than 85% of patients reported no limitations to their daily lives two years post-surgery.

Your Resurgens shoulder physician will give you a more thorough list of risks and complications that come with stemless shoulder arthroplasty.

Post Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty & Recovery

Make sure you've arranged someone to help you during your recovery, as you will be unable to do many daily activities (such as cooking, cleaning, and driving). You should not operate heavy machinery for about six weeks following your surgery. Baths are not recommended during the initial recovery period, but after the three-week mark, you may bathe again.

Physical therapy will be necessary to help you reduce pain and restore motion in the shoulder joint. You will work with a physical therapist and perform a set of at-home exercises to help with the healing process. It can take up to three months to restore the regular motion of your shoulder.

Shoulder pain can diminish your quality of life and keep you from doing the things you love. Get moving again by scheduling an appointment with the shoulder experts at Resurgens Orthopaedics now!

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