partial-shoulder-replacementAt the Joint Surgery Center of Excellence, when surgery is needed, our orthopedic surgeons tailor shoulder replacement surgery to each patient’s specific condition. In cases of limited joint damage, a pain-relieving procedure called partial shoulder replacement can be very effective. By preserving as much of the natural and viable shoulder anatomy as possible without jeopardizing the integrity of the glenohumeral joint, a partial shoulder replacement, or shoulder hemiarthroplasty, can be a definitive treatment for chronic shoulder pain and achieve long-term success rates.

As leading experts in the field of joint preservation surgery, the orthopedic surgeons at the Joint Surgery Center of Excellence possess extensive training in the most advanced shoulder replacement procedures. Our team of doctors is committed to providing comprehensive and individualized treatment plans, a feature that translates to better outcomes and exceptional patient satisfaction.

For more information on partial shoulder replacement, or to schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon, please contact us by calling (888) 318-2842.

Who Is a Candidate for Partial Shoulder Replacement?

A partial shoulder replacement, or hemiarthroplasty of the shoulder, is a surgical option reserved for patients who have localized arthritic degeneration or damage only to the humeral head of the shoulder. Unlike in total shoulder replacement surgery, a partial replacement leaves more of the natural joint intact. This can be very beneficial to very active or younger patients especially.

People with the following symptoms may be eligible for this joint-preserving procedure:

  • Severe shoulder pain that interferes with everyday activities
  • Arthritis limited to the articulating surface of the humerus, with a healthy and intact glenoid (shoulder socket)
  • Fracture or deformity of the humeral head
  • Failure to improve substantially with more conservative therapies such as anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, or physical therapy

Partial Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The surgical procedure for partial shoulder replacement is similar to that of total shoulder replacement, but it involves only replacing of the humeral head (instead of both articulating surfaces of the glenohumeral joint).

While the patient is under general anesthesia, an incision is made in the shoulder to provide complete access to the joint. The extent of damage to bone, cartilage, and other soft tissue within the shoulder will be evaluated to ensure optimal implant selection. Our orthopedic surgeons are experienced in performing the following types of partial shoulder replacements:

  • Stemmed – this involves the placement of a prosthetic ball and stem into the humerus. This surgery is typically performed if there is significant damage or fracture of the upper humerus.
  • Capped – this involves the placement of a “cap” (without a stem reaching down into the shaft of the bone) upon the surface of the humeral head, while the surface of the glenoid is left largely untouched. This method is often used in younger patients for whom partial shoulder replacement is necessary, usually due to certain types of fractures, and those for whom damage is limited to the cartilage covering the humeral head.

Before the implant is affixed in partial shoulder replacement, the damaged bone and cartilage must be removed from the humeral head. During a “capped” partial replacement, most of the humeral head will be left intact, with some minor reshaping of the joint surface to optimize the fit and performance/stability of the implant. A metal “cap” prosthesis will then be fixed to the humeral head to become the new articulating surface of the humerus at the glenohumeral joint. If a stemmed implant is necessary, more bone from the humerus must be removed before the special stemmed prosthesis is fixed into the joint. After the implant has been secured, the incision is closed securely in layers. The procedure takes approximately two hours.

Recovery from Partial Shoulder Replacement

At the Joint Surgery Center of Excellence, partial shoulder replacement can often be performed as an outpatient procedure at our state of the art facility in Los Angeles. By preserving more of the original shoulder anatomy, the partial shoulder replacement options can help reduce the risk of complications and speed up the recovery process. Additionally, a partial shoulder replacement carries a lower risk of implant wear and loosening compared with total replacement.

Patients must be committed to completing a proper physical therapy rehabilitation from shoulder replacement surgery, which begins within one week of surgery and may continue for several months until pain and swelling are reduced, full range of motion is achieved, and strength in the shoulder is rebuilt.

Contact a Los Angeles Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon

The Joint Surgery Center of Excellence houses a team of highly skilled orthopedic surgeons specializing in shoulder replacement surgery. Our expert shoulder surgeons are trained in the most advanced shoulder replacement procedures and are leaders in the field of joint preservation. The unparalleled technical expertise of our surgeons ensures the best results and optimal recovery for our patients.

For more information on partial shoulder replacement or to schedule a consultation with a renowned joint surgeon, please contact us at (888) 318-2842.

Next, learn about rehabilitation after shoulder surgery.