Shoulder Replacement

Orthopaedic Specialists

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in the greater Nashville, Tennessee Area

When nonsurgical treatments like medication and activity modification fail to relieve your shoulder pain, it may be time to talk about a shoulder replacement. At Orthopaedic Specialists, Brandon Downs, MD, combines his surgical skill and experience with today’s leading technology, such as the ExactechGPS® or guided personalized surgery, to perform precise, successful shoulder replacement surgery. To learn if you’re a good candidate for shoulder replacement, call one of the offices in Nashville, Dickson, Ashland City, Kingston Springs, Centerville and Gallatin, Tennessee, or schedule an appointment online.

Shoulder Replacement Q & A

When might I need a shoulder replacement?

Dr. Downs may recommend a shoulder replacement if you suffer a severe fracture that leaves the bone too damaged to heal. In most cases, however, patients need shoulder replacement surgery when the joint is damaged by advanced degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis wears down the cartilage that allows smooth movement between bones. As the cartilage degenerates, you suffer progressive damage to the bone. Rheumatoid arthritis causes chronic inflammation that slowly erodes the bone.

What types of shoulder replacement surgery might be performed?

The shoulder’s ball and socket joint consist of the rounded part of your upper arm and an indentation in the scapula or shoulder blade. You may receive one of two possible shoulder joint replacements:

Primary shoulder replacement

During a primary shoulder replacement, your doctor may replace the ball and socket, or only the ball, depending on the extent of your joint damage.

To replace the ball, Dr. Downs removes the rounded end, inserts a metal stem into the center of the humerus, and then attaches a metal ball to the stem. He repairs the socket by removing damaged tissues and cementing a plastic lining to the socket. Finally, the new metal ball is inserted into the prosthetic socket, giving you smooth movement.

Reverse shoulder replacement

You may need a reverse shoulder replacement if your rotator cuff suffers extensive damage. During this procedure, Dr. Downs attaches a metal ball to the original socket and uses a plastic liner to turn the upper arm bone into a new socket. Reverse surgery allows your deltoid muscle to move the bones instead of the rotator cuff.

What benefits do I gain from guided personalized surgery (GPS)?

ExactechGPS® is an innovative computerized system that fills several vital roles. Before your shoulder replacement surgery, the ExactechGPS uses CT scans of your shoulder to create a 3D anatomical model. Your surgical team at Orthopaedic Specialists use this precise image to plan your shoulder replacement surgery.

The system is also used in the operating room, where it provides exceptional joint visibility and real-time images of the joint during your surgery. GPS allows Dr. Downs to more accurately align the prosthetic components within your joint.

While many types of prosthetic shoulder joints are available, using the ExactechGPS gives Dr. Downs the option of using Exactech’s Equinoxe® shoulder system. Equinoxe allows your prosthetic shoulder replacement to be precisely adjusted to match your joint anatomy.

If you have ongoing shoulder pain or limited arm movement, call Orthopaedic Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.