One option to a total shoulder replacement is partial (hemi) shoulder resurfacing. Several orthopedic specialists use this alternative conservative procedure, which is less invasive approach to shoulder replacement. With the humerus (upper arm bone) resurfacing, a metal cap made of cobalt chromium resurfaces the head of the humerus bone.
This technique requires a smaller incision and less bone manipulation and removal, allowing the patient less pain as well as a quicker recovery period. The implant helps the patient avoid the need for a total shoulder replacement in the future. However, for those patients who do require the full replacement, the Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon can utilize a less-invasive approach.
Ream and Run Procedure
One type of shoulder resurfacing procedure is called the “ream and run.” This surgery utilizes a tool called a reamer to restructure the damaged shoulder blade socket. After the reforming, the humeral head (upper arm ball) is replaced with a prosthesis, which fits into the socket to form the shoulder joint.
The ball of the upper arm prosthesis is connected to a metal stem that is inserted down the center of the humerus bone and cemented to secure placement. This replaced humeral head fits into the socket to create shoulder joint stability and restore full range of motion to the arm and shoulder.
Preparing for Surgery
To prepare for surgery, patients need to begin preoperative strengthening exercises. Also, to ensure optimal health, many orthopedic specialists in Los Angeles recommend a comprehensive nutrition plan. The Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon also goes over possible complications and obtains tests to minimize the potential for adverse reactions. To prevent falls, the orthopedic staff will discuss how to prepare your home appropriately.
Following the shoulder resurfacing procedure, you will be hospitalized for one to two days. After the surgery, the patient is taken to a recovery room for stabilization and then transferred to a regular patient room. The day following the procedure is when the bandages are removed. Physical therapy is ordered to restore motion and promote blood flow to the surgical site.
The patient has to wear a sling for approximately six to eight weeks in order to protect the soft tissues of the shoulder during the healing process. Once at home, the therapist teaches you various stretching exercises to assist with strengthening and range of motion. It is vital for the patient to continue these exercises as instructed by the physician and therapist.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Recovering following shoulder resurfacing surgery is greatly reduced as compared to rehabilitation after a total shoulder replacement. Each patient’s recovery time will vary, but most individuals are able to drive in four weeks, and golfing and other sports can be resumed in three months.
The Los Angeles orthopedic specialist advises each patient on activities, as it depends on individual circumstances. The only things the patient cannot participate in are activities that lead to complications because they place extreme pressure on the shoulder joint.
Who is a Candidate for Shoulder Replacement?
- People with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or avascular necrosis of the shoulder
- Anyone with arthritic damage or a humeral head fracture
- Young people with arthritis that is confined to the humeral head
Benefits of Shoulder Resurfacing
Shoulder resurfacing is an alternative to a total shoulder replacement. The orthopedic specialist determines who is a candidate for this procedure. The benefits to having the shoulder resurfacing done include:
- A less traumatic procedure
- Restoration of the normal shoulder anatomy
- Quicker recovery with less pain
- No risk of fracture to the prosthesis
- No risk of embolus from the trauma of surgery
- Easy revision of the surgery if necessary