Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I need part of my shoulder replaced (the ball portion but not the socket). Will I just develop arthritis in the socket later and need to have it replaced eventually? Maybe I should just have the whole shoulder replaced now. What do you think?

Answer:

As the old saying goes, "If it's not broke, don't fix it." Joint replacements don't last forever. Just removing the damaged part and replacing it can cause problems. The muscles around the joint must be cut and a certain amount of bone removed.

Many doctors would agree when only half the joint is a problem then a hemiarthroplasty is the way to go. This operation only replaces the part of the joint that is damaged. This is usually the head of the humerus or ball portion that fits into the socket. Any part of the joint that is still in good health should be saved.

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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