This procedure is typically recommended for patients with severe and persistent osteoarthritis of the shoulder, in which only the humeral head is damaged. Osteoarthritis is a condition where the protective cartilage between the bones wears away, causing pain and stiffness as the bones rub against each other. By replacing the damaged portion of the humerus, friction is reduced, relieving pain.
When conservative treatments such as rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy have failed to improve symptoms, surgery may be the only option. However, like any major surgery, there are associated risks and complications. These include infection, instability, fractures of the humerus or scapula, shoulder stiffness, and damage to blood vessels and nerves.