Shoulder Replacement Specialist

Alta Orthopaedics -  - Orthopaedic Surgery

Alta Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Specialists located in Santa Barbara, CA & Solvang, CA

Shoulder replacement is sometimes the best option if you have severe shoulder arthritis or irrepairable damage to the joint. If you're finding little relief from non-surgical treatments for shoulder arthritis, the Alta Orthopaedics team can help. At locations in Solvang and Santa Barbara, California, their board-certified orthopaedic surgeons perform both anatomic total shoulder replacement and reverse total shoulder replacement surgeries. Call Alta Orthopaedics to schedule a consultation or use the online form to book an appointment.

Shoulder Replacement Q & A

Why might I need a shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacements are utilized for patients who have damage to their shoulders that cannot be repaired. This could be the result of acute trauma, but in most cases, the cause is shoulder arthritis from long-term wear and tear or from large rotator cuff tears.

Shoulder arthritis is a degenerative condition with several triggers. It is often due to wear-and-tear over many decades, or it could occur a few years after an injury if the bones do not line up correctly.

Other causes of shoulder arthritis include large rotator cuff tears left untreated for many years, and conditions that cause excess inflammation in your shoulder, like rheumatoid arthritis.

Over time, patients with shoulder arthritis sometimes suffer reduced motion in their shoulder and can get a cracking sensation known as crepitus. This often leads to experiencing stiffness and lack of mobility in the shoulder, and pain and crepitus when moving the joint.

When would I need to undergo shoulder replacement?

The Alta Orthopaedics team starts treatment of shoulder arthritis with conservative therapies such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections

They may also use biologics such as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy to help reduce pain.

If conservative treatments are unsuccessful or stop working, then surgical intervention may be necessary. This usually takes the form of a shoulder replacement (arthroplasty).

What does shoulder replacement involve?

Depending on the cause of your shoulder arthritis and the resulting deformity, there are several different approaches the Alta Orthopaedics team can take.

Sometimes they anatomically replace the shoulder (anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty), and sometimes they replace the shoulder in a non-anatomic fashion (reverse total shoulder arthroplasty). In both cases, the team removes the glenoid (socket) and humeral head (ball) and replaces them with artificial components.

In an anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty, they replace the ball with a ball and the socket with a socket. In a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, they replace the ball with a socket and the socket with a ball. This allows patients to lift their arms, even if their rotator cuff is no longer intact.

If shoulder arthritis is interfering with your life and noninvasive treatments are no longer helping, contact Alta Orthopaedics to see whether you are a good candidate for shoulder replacement surgery. Call your nearest office or book an appointment online today.