Resurfacing Arthroplasty
  HIP Replacements
  Total Hip Replacements
  Knee Replacements
  Oxford Unicondylar Knee Replacements
  Surface Replacement of the Shoulder

The shoulder is a joint which is hurt very commonly in sports injuries and repeated injuries can lead to arthritis in the joint. Arthritis of the shoulder presents as pain and stiffness and there is difficulty in elevating and rotating the arm.

Till recently, the treatment for shoulder osteoarthritis was a shoulder replacement where a stem with a ball at the top was inserted in the humerus (arm bone) and a plastic socket was implanted in the shoulder blade. The X Ray on the left shows a total shoulder replacement in place. This device works very well in patients with severe arthritis and also in Rheumatoid arthritis.

However in younger patients, it is desirable to preserve as much bone as possible so that further surgery is easier in the future. It is well known that total joint replacements have a finite life span after which they become loose or worn out.

With this in mind, Mr. Stephen Copeland from Reading (U.K.) has designed a surface replacement of the shoulder in which the head (or the ball) is not cut away. Instead, the diseased cartilage and bone is reamed (sanded) away from the head of the humerus and a highly polished metal shell fitted over the precisely contoured bone. This metal shell can either be fixed with cement or can be used in the uncemented mode, where bone grows into the specially prepared surface of the shell and bonds it to the parent bone of the arm bone (humerus).

The photograph above shows the Copeland surface replacement for the shoulder. The advantage of this prosthesis is that the length of the humerus is maintained precisely and there is no concern about relative lengthening or shortening of the arm muscles.which can vitiate the results of an otherwise good surgery.

It can also give better range of movements and stability is better. As the head of the humerus is not cut away, if a revision operation becomes necessary in a few years time, it is relatively simple to cut away the head along with the metal shell and implant a conventional total shoulder replacement.

The X Ray above shows how a Copeland surface replacement looks when implanted.
All information on website are for educational purposes only and provided as a service to the community. In no way should anything here be construed as medical advice. For medical advice consult your own physician who alone, after an appropriate physical examination, can give you appropriate advice about your medical condition. Comments are welcome.