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New surgical technique improves fixation and minimizes complications in shoulder replacement surgery

By Admin | May 02, 2019

New medical evidence shows improved mechanical fixation with a novel inset shoulder implant that minimizes surgical complications and may increase the longevity of artificial shoulder replacements. This new study in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgerydemonstrates, for the first time, successful long-term results with a promising new technology that is gaining the attention of shoulder surgeons.

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The humeral head is shaped like a ball, and the glenoid is shaped like a golf tee. The ball sits on the tee in a stable fashion if the entire surface of the tee remains intact. However, any partial destruction of the tee may cause the ball to fall off the tee. The glenoid surface functions in a similar fashion, stabilizing the shoulder joint through conformity with the humeral head. Since the glenoid platform surface turns sideways like a vertical wall every time we sit or stand up, a concavity compression system from the rotator cuff and important ligaments are necessary to stabilize the joint.

When the shoulder joint loses the protective cartilage lining of the surface bone, patients develop bone on bone degenerative arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness, and loss of function. Joint replacement surgery has the potential to both restore motion and function as well as eliminate pain. However, replacing the shoulder joint surface with artificial implants, especially in the setting of bone loss like a broken golf tee, can be very technically challenging. The surgeon has to correct deformity, remove scar, balance the soft tissue constraints, stabilize the joint, rigidly fix the artificial implants, and repair the rotator cuff. If any of these steps fail, then the patient may experience loosening of the implants or shoulder joint instability. For all of these reasons, shoulder implants still have a higher loosening rate than hip and knee implants, and this limits their long-term success.

For more information on this, please read, New surgical technique improves fixation and minimizes complications in shoulder replacement surgery, by MD Linx Orthopedics. 

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