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Shoulder News

Shoulder Replacement Improves Function and Comfort

This study reports the results of 71 shoulder joint replacements. All were done by one surgeon. The goal was to find factors present before the operation that are linked with positive results after the operation. If such factors can be found, then surgeons can help patients make better decisions about surgery.

The surgeon used a humeral head implant in all the shoulder replacements. A stem was also inserted into the upper arm bone. The patient's socket (glenoid) wasn't changed. This operation is called a hemiarthroplasty. The same surgery was used for each shoulder. Follow-up rehab was also the same for each patient.

Comfort and function were the two main measures of success. Here's what the researchers found:

  • Age and gender don't seem to make a difference in the results.
  • Having a previous operation on that shoulder resulted in reduced function after the hemiarthroplasty.
  • Better results occurred in patient's who had a smooth glenoid before the operation.
  • Patients with a torn rotator cuff (muscles around the shoulder joint) before the hemiarthroplasty had much less improvement after the operation.
  • Some shoulder problems had better results than others. For example, patients with osteonecrosis and degenerative joint disease did better than patients with rheumatoid arthritis or torn joint capsules.

    The authors conclude that it is possible to use patient information about before shoulder hemiarthroplasty to help ensure a good outcome.

    Carolyn M. Hettrich, MD, et al. Preoperative Factors Associated with Improvements in Shoulder Function after Humeral Hemiarthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. July 2004. Vol. 86-A. No. 7. Pp. 1446-1451.


    *Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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