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Source: Science Centric

A standard shoulder replacement, a decades old treatment for severe
shoulder arthritis, would likely not have worked for her due to her
deficient rotator cuff. However, a recently developed – and radically
different – prosthesis, called a reverse total shoulder, offered the best
chance of decreasing her pain and improving shoulder function.

‘A normal shoulder is a ball-and-saucer joint, with its stability and
motion governed to a large extent by the surrounding rotator cuff
musculature,’ said Dr Omer Ilhai, an orthopedic surgeon at The Methodist
Hospital in Houston. ‘In arthritis, the smooth cartilage overlying and
cushioning the surface of the bones is worn away, leaving rough, exposed
bone surfaces to rub against each other. This bone-on-bone contact is very
painful and usually associated with joint stiffness.’

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