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Shoulder Replacement Specialist

Commons Clinic

Eric S. Millstein, MD

Knee & Shoulder Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Century City, Los Angeles, CA

Although shoulder replacement is less common than hip or knee replacement, it’s just as effective at relieving joint pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Located in Century City, California, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric S. Millstein specializes in shoulder replacement surgery, including reverse shoulder replacement and hemiarthroplasty. Dr. Millstein is skilled in the latest minimally-invasive techniques and has a strong track record of success. To learn more, call Millstein Orthopedics, or schedule an appointment online.

Shoulder Replacement Q & A

What is a shoulder replacement?

When more conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication fail to alleviate shoulder pain, Dr. Millstein may recommend a shoulder replacement.

In this procedure, Dr. Millstein replaces the damaged parts of your shoulder with artificial components.

To replace the top of the your arm bone that has a ball on top of it, he inserts a highly-polished metal ball with a stem and secures it in your bone. For the socket, Dr. Millstein uses a plastic piece resurfaced for a smooth fit, and cements it in place.

Shoulder replacement surgery is highly successful for the majority of patients, who experience pain relief and improved function.

What is a reverse shoulder replacement?

A reverse shoulder replacement is similar to a shoulder replacement, except that the ball and socket are switched.

In this procedure, Dr. Millstein attaches a metal ball to the shoulder bone and a plastic socket to the upper arm bone. This allows the patient to use the deltoid muscle on the outer shoulder — instead of the torn rotator cuff — to lift the arm.

Designed in the 1970s and refined in the last 10-15 years, reverse shoulder replacement is often the only option for severe pain and weakness resulting from certain fractures and other chronic conditions.

Reverse total shoulder replacement is often recommended for people who have:

  • Completely torn rotator cuffs with severe arm weakness
  • Arthritis that causes rotator cuff tearing, also called cuff tear arthropathy
  • A previous shoulder replacement that failed

What is hemiarthroplasty?

Hemiarthroplasty is a shoulder surgery in which only half of the shoulder joint is replaced. A stemmed hemiarthroplasty involves replacing the ball of the ball-and-socket joint, and a resurfacing hemiarthroplasty simply provides a smooth, prosthetic cap for the ball.

Both types of hemiarthroplasty are recommended for patients who have enough healthy bone and cartilage that may be able to function with only minimal adjustments.

Is shoulder replacement surgery right for me?

Shoulder replacement is a complex surgery, and it’s important to go to an experienced orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Millstein. He performs a comprehensive evaluation, involving a physical exam, X-rays, blood tests, MRI, and other tests, so that he can carefully determine the cause of the pain and whether shoulder replacement surgery is appropriate.

To book a consultation with Dr. Millstein, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

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