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What’s the Difference Between a Hemiarthroplasty and Total Shoulder Surgery?

The shoulder is a marvel of biomechanical engineering. It’s the body’s most flexible joint. However, with this flexibility comes vulnerability.

Shoulder conditions can significantly affect one’s quality of life. If the condition isn’t treated, it will continue to deteriorate and then require surgical intervention at some point.

There are two key procedures in this realm: hemiarthroplasty shoulder treatment and total shoulder surgery. In this blog, we’ll cover the differences between these two surgeries to help you make an informed decision in consultation with your doctor.

Let’s begin.

The Shoulder Joint: A Brief Overview

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint made of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collarbone). The head of the humerus articulates with the glenoid cavity of the scapula, forming the main joint.

Over time, conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or trauma can cause significant wear and tear, resulting in chronic pain and impaired function.

Hemiarthroplasty: Half a Solution, Complete Relief

Hemiarthroplasty, or partial shoulder replacement, involves replacing only the head of the humerus and leaving the glenoid cavity of the scapula intact. This procedure is typically recommended when the humeral head is severely fractured or damaged, but the glenoid is relatively healthy.

Hemiarthroplasty shoulder treatment can be an excellent solution for older, less active patients or those with complex fractures. It generally offers less surgical complexity and fewer potential complications related to the prosthetic glenoid component. However, if the glenoid also has significant damage, a hemiarthroplasty may not provide complete relief from pain and could potentially require conversion to a total shoulder replacement in the future.

Total Shoulder Surgery: A Comprehensive Approach

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In contrast, total shoulder replacement surgery, or total shoulder arthroplasty, involves replacing both the head of the humerus and the glenoid cavity. This procedure is often the go-to choice for patients with severe arthritis or rotator cuff tear arthropathy, where both the humeral head and the glenoid are damaged.

Total shoulder surgery tends to provide excellent results in terms of pain relief and improvement in function and range of motion. However, it also carries a slightly higher risk of complications, particularly related to the glenoid component. It requires a high level of surgical precision to ensure proper alignment and function.

Recovery and Rehabilitation: The Path to Improved Function

Regardless of the type of surgery, the road to recovery involves physical therapy to regain strength and mobility in the shoulder. The rehabilitation process may vary slightly between hemiarthroplasty shoulder treatment and total shoulder surgery, mainly due to the difference in surgical impact and the patient’s health status.

Making the Right Choice: Hemiarthroplasty vs. Total Shoulder Surgery

The decision between hemiarthroplasty and total shoulder surgery should be made in consultation with your orthopedic Surgeon League City TX. He or she will take a lot of different factors into consideration, including your age, activity level, overall health, and the specific condition of your shoulder joint.

At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we believe in a patient-centric approach. Our team of skilled orthopedic surgeons is committed to discussing all your options and ensuring you understand the benefits and risks associated with each procedure. We’ll help you make the right decision for your health, wellness, and happiness.

Find an orthopedic Specialist Webster TX who’s right for you. In addition to performing hemiarthroplasty and total shoulder replacement surgery, we also specialize in back surgery, hip replacement surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, neck pain surgery, and more. Check our website to take the first few steps toward a healthier and happier life.