Shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure in which damaged surfaces of the shoulder joint are replaced with artificial metal and plastic components.
Patients suffering from painful, disabling arthritis of the shoulder, caused by rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, osteoarthritis, chronic rotator cuff tear etc need to undergo shoulder joint replacement surgery. This surgery also allows reconstruction in cases of badly shattered fractures of the shoulder ball (head of humerus) when the fragments cannot be fixed together with plates and screws.
The operation is followed by intensive physiotherapy for several weeks, as the shoulder remains stiff for 2 to 3 months after surgery. After recovery is complete, almost all patients can lift the arm up to shoulder level, and the vast majority can even do overhead activities. Although the movements are usually slightly less than the normal shoulder in most cases, few patients are able to regain full range of joint movements even in the replaced shoulder
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