Evolution of Technology

Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

The modern era of shoulder replacement began in the 1950s, but was the techniques and implants we most commonly see today were developed in the 1980s. Total shoulder replacement (also referred to as “arthroplasty”) involves removing the arthritic portions of the shoulder joint. Once they are removed, metal implants are placed within the humerus and glenoid.

These implants may secured in place with cement. There is a polyethylene component placed between the humeral head and the glenoid, or the glenoid component may be entirely made of polyethylene. After surgery, patients can begin a physical therapy program aimed at rebuilding strength and improving range of motion.

Evolution of Procedure

Shoulder Osteoarthritis Surgery

There exist a wide variety of treatment options for shoulder osteoarthritis. Conservative measures can be used such as physical therapy and corticosteroid injections into the glenohumeral joint. However, because cartilage does not regenerate, neither of these options truly addresses the arthritic changes of the shoulder joint.

Partial shoulder replacements and total shoulder replacements are options that involve replacing part of the shoulder joint or replacing it entirely with metal components.

Evolution of Diagnosis

Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Shoulder osteoarthritis can be significant cause of pain and disability in the upper extremity. Cartilage helps allow for motion in the joints of the body, but it can be degraded over time. The glenohumeral or shoulder joint is no exception: the actions of daily life can cause the cartilage to be irreparably damaged leading to pain decreased range of motion.

Additionally, shoulder osteoarthritis b. may occur in the setting of a rotator cuff tear, which is the group of muscles that allow for shoulder movement. This can further decrease range of motion at the shoulder joint.