- What Is It?
- 4 Recovery Phases
- Related Resources
What is a hemiarthroplasty of the shoulder?
A hemiarthroplasty is a surgical procedure that replaces one half of the shoulder joint.
The shoulder is made up of three bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and the collarbone (clavicle). The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint—the ball or head of the humerus fits into a shallow socket known as glenoid in the shoulder blade. Surrounding the joint is a layer of articular cartilage that acts as a lubricant reducing abrasion of the bones.
A hemiarthroplasty of the shoulder involves the replacement of the ball (humeral head) with the prosthesis, and the socket (glenoid) is left intact.
Why is a shoulder hemiarthroplasty done?
Shoulder pain and disability can be intimidating and may not be cured by medications or physical activities alone. In such cases, a shoulder hemiarthroplasty is preferred. Several conditions can cause joint pain and disability:
- Osteoarthritis of the shoulder (a degenerative joint disease)
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the joints)
- Shoulder injury
- Avascular necrosis (disruption of the blood supply to the shoulder joints)
- Severe fractures
- Failed previous shoulder replacement surgery
- Loss of motion or weakness in the surgery
- Failure of other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections or physical therapy
- Rotator cuff tear arthropathy (wear and tear of the shoulder joints caused over time due to damage of the rotator cuff muscle)
- Tumors of the shoulder
When should a shoulder hemiarthroplasty be avoided?
A shoulder hemiarthroplasty should be avoided in the following conditions:
- Neuropathic shoulder (nerve damage of the shoulder)
- Ankylosed shoulder (joint stiffness due to abnormal fusion of the joint bones)
- Previous glenohumeral arthrodesis (abnormal fusion of the glenoid and humeral head)
- Incompatible glenoid and humeral surfaces
- Fractures treatable with open reduction and internal fixation surgery
- Less severe fractures treatable nonoperatively
- Unenthusiastic patient
- Poor general health
- Deltoid paralysis (paralysis of the deltoid muscle in the shoulder)
- Unrealistic patient goals
How is a shoulder hemiarthroplasty performed?
A shoulder hemiarthroplasty should be performed under general anesthesia. The physician makes an incision in the area between the upper arm and shoulder. Next, the physician rotates or extends the arm to locate the humeral head. Before cutting out the humeral head, the surrounding muscles and tissues connecting the muscle and bone (tendons) are protected.
Once the surgeon locates the humeral head, an instrument called an osteotome is used to cut the humeral head. The surgeon then replaces it with a cap-like prosthesis. The incision is then closed with stitches.
What to expect after a shoulder hemiarthroplasty surgery?
You need to perform exercises to prevent joint stiffness. You can return to the normal routine after 24 weeks of strengthening exercises.
The healing takes place in phases:
- Phase I: You will remain in a shoulder immobilizer for four weeks. During this time, you need to perform pendulum motion.
- Phase II: After four weeks, the sling will be removed so that you can use the arm for daily activities.
- Phase III: At eight weeks, therapy consists of advanced strengthening exercises.
- Phase IV: At 16 weeks, you can practice skilled sports.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Is a Hemiarthroplasty of the Shoulder? Related Articles
Bursitis Symptoms and TreatmentsDiagnosed with bursitis? Learn about treatment and prevention for trochanteric bursitis, as well as hip, knee, shoulder and other bursitis types.
Frozen ShoulderA frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is when the shoulder joint experiences a significant loss in its range of motion due to inflammation, scarring, or injury. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medication, cortisone injections, and physical therapy.
How Long Does a Deltoid Tear Take to Heal?Depending on the severity of your deltoid muscle tear, and if surgery is required, it can take weeks to months to heal.
Frozen ShoulderIt's got nothing to do with cold weather. It means your shoulder is jammed up. WebMD guides you through the causes of frozen shoulder and what you can do about it.
Rotator Cuff Tear and InjuryRotator cuff injury is damage to any of the four tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Shoulder pain and tenderness are common symptoms. Rotator cuff disease treatment depends on the severity of the shoulder injury.
Rotator Cuff Tear: Exercises, Symptoms, Tests, and SurgeryRotator cuff tears are painful. Learn about rotator cuff tear exercises, symptoms, tests, and surgery.
Shoulder and Neck PainShoulder and neck pain may be caused by bursitis, a pinched nerve, whiplash, tendinitis, a herniated disc, or a rotator cuff injury. Symptoms also include weakness, numbness, coolness, color changes, swelling, and deformity. Treatment at home may incorporate resting, icing, and elevating the injury. A doctor may prescribe pain medications and immobilize the injury.
Shoulder BursitisShoulder bursitis is inflammation of the shoulder bursa. Bursitis may be caused by injury, infection, or a rheumatic condition. Symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness, and pain with movement of the shoulder joint. Treatment may involve ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications and depends on whether there is an infection.
What Are Shoulder Muscles Called?Shoulder muscles are required for movements of the upper limb. They also give the shoulders their characteristic shape. The shoulder has multiple muscles. Shoulder muscles include the intrinsic muscles or scapulohumeral group, including the deltoid, teres major and four rotator cuff muscles. The extrinsic shoulder muscles are the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, levator scapula and rhomboids (rhomboid major and rhomboid minor).
What Does It Mean to Reduce a Shoulder Dislocation?Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint where the head of the humerus (ball) fits into the glenoid cavity (socket) of the scapula bone. When the humerus slips out of the glenoid cavity, the condition is known as a shoulder dislocation.
What Is a Shoulder Subacromial Injection?Injecting corticosteroids into the subacromial space is one method to treat inflammation and pain. Injections can reduce pain and inflammation and restore the mobility of shoulder joints.