Dr. Miles Parsons Marks Five Months of Exceptional Orthopaedic Care at Mid State Ortho

Shoulder Specialist in Central Louisiana

The shoulder is vital to our performance of everyday activities as it controls the placement of the hand in space.  The shoulder joint is a complex structure made of three separate joints that work together to give you a wide range of motion.  Unfortunately, it is often true that the more a joint can do, the more problems that can arise. Mid State Orthopaedic physicians have the expertise and experience to provide comprehensive care of the shoulder including nonsurgical treatments, arthroscopic surgery, and joint replacement options.

Understand that your shoulder is a complicated part of your body and there are many conditions which can affect it. The following helps provide you with an overview of some of the more common shoulder ailments.

Shoulder Replacement Surgery Options

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket system that consists of the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collarbone.) These bones are connected by tendons and covered with articular cartilage which helps separate the bones and allows them to move more easily. In patients with severe shoulder pain and limited range of motion, medication and physical therapy is recommended as a first step. If these treatments don’t provide relief or improve the patient’s range of motion, shoulder replacement surgery may be recommended.

A total shoulder replacement is performed on patients who have an extensive amount of damage to their articular cartilage. This procedure removes the damage cartilage and replaces it with durable prosthetic parts. This procedure is performed in 3 steps:

  • The humerus head is removed and replaced: once the “ball” section of the upper arm bone is removed, a metal stem is attached.
  • A round metal ball is attached to the metal stem: a smooth metal ball is placed on top of the newly inserted metal stem.
  • Cartilage is removed from the arm socket: the damaged cartilage is removed from the socket and replaced by a smooth artificial socket. 

In cases where the cartilage in the socket is in good condition, the surgeon may choose to perform a stemmed hemiarthroplasty. During this procedure, the first two steps of a total shoulder replacement are performed. The ball of the humerus is removed and replaced with a metal stem and prosthetic metal ball that works in tandem with the intact shoulder socket and cartilage. 

Compared to a total knee replacement, the knee better preserves range of motion and function due to the healthy tissue being spared. Because of the less extensive nature to this procedure, the recovery time is often much faster.

In order to preserve the humerus bone mass, a resurfacing hemiarthroplasty replaces the humerus head with a cap shaped prosthesis without the use of a metal stem. This procedure is performed if the humerus is in strong shape and the cartilage in the shoulder socket is healthy. A resurfacing hemiarthroplasty can be converted into a total shoulder replacement in the future if necessary. 

A reverse total shoulder replacement is performed on patients who have completely torn their rotator cuff or those who have severe arthritis with a rotator cuff tear or weakness. In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. The prosthetic ball is placed in the existing shoulder socket and the plastic socket prosthesis is attached to the top of the humerus. This allows the patient to lift their arm using their deltoid muscle instead of the weakened or torn rotator cuff.