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Shoulder Replacements For Fractures

Hemiarthroplasty is a surgery that involves replacing the shoulder whereby a fragmented humeral head is replaced with an artificial piece. Instead, the bits of the broken bone are rearranged around the artificial component. Shoulder replacement is a type of surgery to consider due to the nature of the fracture in the event it becomes displaced.

Trauma causes fractures, particularly a break in the ball or cup of the shoulder joint. Most of the time, surgery is a means of repairing a shoulder fracture, especially in a displaced fracture. Often, when a fracture is left untreated, the pieces of broken bone heal out of place or increase the risk of arthritis.

Typically, non-displaced fractures are treated through immobilisation of the shoulder joint using a sling. X-rays of the site are taken to establish the severity of damage in the area.

In severe cases, fractures can be repaired by means of a shoulder replacement procedure. There are several types of shoulder replacements, the most common of which is a hemiarthroplasty shoulder replacement. During this procedure, the humeral surface of the joint is replaced with a metal ball and the socket is left as is. These artificial components are typically pressed into the bone with surgical cement. It may also be inserted with an un-cemented technique. This procedure is generally recommended if the humeral head is fractured but the socket is not degenerative. In certain cases, the stabilising muscles around the shoulder, called the rotator cuff muscles, are deficient, and in those cases, a reverse replacement will be performed. It is simply a reversal of components that places the joint's socket where the ball used to be and the ball where the socket used to be.

Then at a follow-up appointment, further imaging studies are taken to determine how well the joint is healing. Again, this test assesses the flexibility of the fingers, wrist and elbow.


Shoulder replacement boasts a high success rate, alleviating pain and restoring joint mobility after a fracture or experiencing pain from arthritis.

Depending on the design of the prosthetic implant, the typical life expectancy of the component is 10-15 years before attending another revised procedure.

Yes, you will be requested to take precautions when engaging in sports, exercise, and heavy-duty work with any surgery. Normally, you will not be allowed to engage in repetitive sports and lift heavy weights.


Tel 011 014 0505

Tel 011 014 0506


Address Johannesburg Surgical Hospital, 219 Beyers Naude Drive, Northcliff Randburg 2195

Address Life Wilgeheuwel Hospital, Block E Amplifier Road Radiokop 1724