Volleyball, surfing and cycling make shoulder injuries a common problem in the South Bay. Repetitive movements such as reaching, heavy lifting and throwing can also cause shoulder pain. The first step toward healing your shoulder injury is to be examined by an orthopedist. An examination of the shoulder and a range of tests can be used to learn more about your injury. Then, you and your doctor can talk about the course of treatment that will be best for you.
What is Shoulder Replacement?
It’s the same idea as having most things fixed, worn parts are taken out, and new parts are installed in their place. In shoulder replacement surgery, the parts of the bones that rub together or have been broken are replaced with metal and plastic parts.
The part that replaces the ball consists of a partial sphere made of metal. This partial sphere sits on top of a metal stem that fits down into the shaft of the upper arm bone.
The part that replaces the socket consists of an oblong plastic disk with a cupped surface, which lines the socket and replaces the damaged cartilage. The partial sphere fits into this cupped surface to re-create the joint.
Different versions of shoulder replacement surgery are available, depending on your situation. For instance, sometimes it may be necessary to replace only the ball portion of the joint. Your surgeon will advise what is best for you.
In a normal, healthy shoulder joint, the surfaces of the ball and socket bones are very smooth and covered with a tough, protective tissue called cartilage. The cartilage prevents direct contact between these bones and allows them to move smoothly over each other, without friction or wear on the bone surfaces.
The problems start when that cartilage is injured or worn away which is actually the definition of osteoarthritis. The bones grind agains each other, and that grinding hurts. Eventually, all the friction causes the bone surfaces to deteriorate. Unfortunately, there is no medication or treatment that will make the damaged cartilage grow back.
Understanding Injuries to the Rotator Cuff
The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that support the shoulder joint. The joint is a ball joint formed by the head of the humerus (arm bone) fitting into the socket of the scapula (shoulder blade). The rotator cuff controls the shoulder's movement and help keeps it stable. The rotator cuff stabilizes your shoulder as you work and play. Damage to your rotator cuff muscles or tendons can be determined by an orthopedist.
Contact Dr. Reff to learn about ways to relieve shoulder pain.