Stemless Shoulder Replacement

Georgia Hand, Shoulder, and Elbow

If you are experiencing unrelenting shoulder pain due to severe arthritis, schedule a consultation appointment with our experts at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow in Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia. We have many different techniques and procedures to help you alleviate your discomfort.

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Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty

Stemless shoulder arthroplasty, also known as stemless total shoulder arthroplasty or stemless shoulder replacement, is a minimally invasive, bone-preserving version of total shoulder arthroplasty. It is used to replace an injured shoulder.

It is called stemless shoulder arthroplasty because, unlike traditional shoulder arthroplasty, this procedure does not use a stem implant. Instead, this procedure is specifically designed to secure the implant (artificial prosthetic joint) to the upper arm bone (humeral head) with a minimal loss of bone structure.

Why Is Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty Performed?

Stemless shoulder arthroplasty is performed to treat severe arthritis in the shoulder joint when all conservative treatments have not been able to eliminate your pain. 

This surgical procedure can provide a great deal of shoulder joint pain relief and improved mobility. It may also be an option if you have less bone damage or deterioration.

You may make a good candidate if you have a severe shoulder injury, such as a complete rotator cuff tear or degenerative shoulder arthritis. The benefits may include the following:

  • Pain relief
  • Installation of the implant is easier
  • Faster recovery
  • Improved function and range of motion
  • Less blood loss
  • Preservation of more bone

What Happens During a Stemless Shoulder Arthroplasty Procedure?

A stemless shoulder arthroplasty procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and you should not feel any pain. Stemless shoulder arthroplasty usually follows this process:

  1. Your vitals will be checked, and pre-surgical monitoring will be conducted.
  2. General anesthesia will be administered.
  3. A small incision will be made, and an arthroscope (a thin tube with a camera and light source) will be inserted.
  4. Surgical tools will then be used to separate the humerus from your shoulder socket (glenoid).
  5. Your doctor will then remove the damaged humeral head and replace it with a metal ball (humeral head implant).
  6. To ensure that the implant fits exactly as needed, your surgeon will use a unique template that is tailored to the shape of your shoulder to reshape the glenoid and replace it with a new component that is fixed into your shoulder bone.
  7. Your shoulder joint will then be tested to ensure all components, including the humeral head implant, work properly together.
  8. Finally, the incision is closed, cleaned, and bandaged.
  9. Once your procedure is complete, you will then move to a recovery room, and your arm will be put in a sling.

How Can I Prepare for Stemless Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Prior to the procedure, you will meet with your doctor to discuss any medical conditions you may have and all medications, including supplements and herbs, that you are taking. You may need to stop certain medications before the surgery.

In addition, tests such as X-rays or MRI scans may be performed to help determine if this is the best treatment option for you.

Potential Shoulder Replacement Complications

Some complications associated with stemless shoulder joint replacements include:

  • Infection
  • Components loosening or wearing down of your socket
  • Nerve damage
  • Failure to provide long-term pain relief

Stemless Shoulder Joint Replacement Recovery

Immediately after the surgery, you may feel some pain and experience swelling in the area. You may need to take medication for relief and participate in physical therapy. Recovery time usually varies from person to person. However, most people are able to return to normal activities within 6 to 8 weeks. 

Additionally, after your procedure, you will be unable to perform many of your daily activities, including driving, cooking, etc. Make sure you arrange for someone to assist you with these activities in advance.

A shoulder replacement is a very effective procedure for treating severe arthritis in the shoulder and can provide long-term pain relief and improved mobility.

Schedule an appointment at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow in Atlanta or Marietta, GA to see whether stemless replacement may be right for you. With careful preparation and a skilled surgeon, you can look forward to an improved quality of life with this procedure!

Medically reviewed by

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Plastic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon

Hand & Orthopaedic Surgeon