The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. The “ball” is formed by the top of your upper arm bone (humerus) and the “socket” is the end of your shoulder blade (scapula). During a shoulder replacement, a metal ball on a stem is inserted into your upper arm bone and a plastic surface is fitted onto the socket. You may have a shoulder replacement if you have osteoarthritis in your shoulder and your rotator cuff is intact. The rotator cuff is made up of a group of four muscles and their tendons. It plays a crucial role in keeping your shoulder joint stable.
If you have severe arthritis, a torn rotator cuff or have already had a shoulder replacement that was unsuccessful; your surgeon may decide to do a reverse shoulder replacement. During this procedure, the metal ball is attached to your shoulder blade and the plastic socket is fitted to the top of your upper arm bone. An artificial joint usually lasts at least 10 years, after which it may need to be replaced.
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