When traditional approaches to relieving shoulder pain such as medication, physical therapy and injections are not enough to restore a normal pain free lifestyle, shoulder replacement with implants may be your best option. After an x-ray or an MRI your surgeon will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain. Whether arthritis or bone grinding or other medical problems, he will be able to determine if you need a total shoulder replacement or a partial one.
A partial shoulder replacement consists of only using implants for the humeral head and stem. A total shoulder replacement involves replacing the humeral portion and the glenoid (socket) portion with implants. This decision is based on the amount of damage sustained in the shoulder.