Results of Resurfacing Shoulder JointJoint replacements are used more often with younger adults than ever before. But an even better treatment option are the new joint resurfacing implants. The entire shoulder joint isn't replaced. The surface is smoothed and capped without removing the head of the humerus or the humeral shaft.
In this report, the results of cementless humeral resurfacing are reported. The 36 patients were all younger than 55 years of age. They were operated on by the same surgeon. They all had severe shoulder arthritis without osteonecrosis (death of bone cells).
Results were measured using pain, function, and patient satisfaction. X-rays were taken to look for any signs of implant loosening. Activity level for daily activities and sports participation was also reviewed.
Patients were followed for at least two years. Most patients were very satisfied with their results. Pain was less and function improved. There were some complications but nothing unusual or different from any other shoulder surgery. All but six of the patients were able to participate in sports activities at their desired level.
Long-term results with this treatment approach are not yet available. Short-term outcomes suggest that cementless humeral resurfacing is a good option. Young, active patients are happy with their motion, function, and recovery.
The actual limits of function and activity with humeral resurfacing remain unknown. There isn't a specific list of dos and don'ts. It's not clear yet how long the good results last. Collision sports are not advised because of the possible risk of fracture around the implant.
In time, the long-term results of this shoulder salvage procedure will become known. More studies are needed to compare joint resurfacing with total joint replacement. Studies are also needed to track patients having joint resurfacing at different ages and with different degrees of shoulder disease.
David S. Bailie, MD, et al. Cementless Humeral Resurfacing Arthroplasty in Active Patients Less Than Fifty-five Years of Age. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. January 2008. Vol. 90. No. 1. Pp. 110-117.
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