How Shoulders Work, and How Shoulder Pain Develops
See how John C. Hospitals provide advanced orthopedic care, from diagnosis to post-surgical rehabilitation.
Like the hip, the shoulder joint is essentially a ball-and-socket joint. However, the shoulder has much greater mobility. Because it depends on an elaborate array of muscles, tendons and ligaments, the shoulder joint is one of the most complex joints in the body.
The ball is on the top end of the arm bone (humerus). The socket of the shoulder (glenoid), is part of the shoulder blade (scapula). Supported by the muscles of the shoulder (the deltoid and rotator cuff muscles), the humerus moves and rotates within the socket, so that we can raise and twist our arms.
Sources of Shoulder Pain
The most common source of shoulder pain is arthritis, which has several forms:
- Osteoarthritis results from wear and tear to the joint.
- Rheumatoid arthritis develops as the body's immune system creates chemicals that attack and destroy joint surfaces.
- Traumatic arthritis results from an injury or fracture to the shoulder.
- Rotator cuff tear arthropathy is a form of arthritis that's unique to the shoulder. It develops in the presence of a massive, irreparable rotator cuff tear.
Treatment for Shoulder Pain in Phoenix at John C. Lincoln
Treatment for shoulder arthritis initially consists of nonoperative treatments — medications, physical therapy and activity modification. When these fail to provide substantial relief, shoulder replacement surgery is the next step.
Shoulder replacement surgery essentially involves replacement of the worn out joint surfaces. More than 25,000 shoulder replacements are performed in the United States each year — quite a few of them are performed by John C. Lincoln's shoulder surgeons in Phoenix.
Who Should Have Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Using X-rays, you and your surgeon will decide if your shoulder pain and loss of mobility are enough to justify consideration of a shoulder replacement surgery. Several types of shoulder replacement implants are available. Each addresses patient needs, anatomy and arthritis types a little differently.
A surgeon will weigh numerous factors before selecting a shoulder implant. What works well for one patient in one shoulder surgery may not be the best choice for another.
An Innovative Surgical Technique at John C. Lincoln
In a healthy shoulder, the humerus ends in a ball shape and fits into the shoulder blade's socket.
In reverse shoulder replacement, the structure of the healthy shoulder is reversed. An implant is inserted, enabling the ball portion to attach directly to the shoulder blade; the socket is inserted at the upper end of the humerus.
Older patients with significant shoulder pain and little to no shoulder mobility — and patients with chronic rotator cuff arthritis — are typical candidates for this shoulder surgery in Phoenix.