Shoulder replacements are usually performed to relieve pain. The most common type of shoulder replacement involves replacing the damaged bone and cartilage with a highly polished metal ball attached to a stem and a plastic socket.
Much like the hip joint, the shoulder is basically a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is the top of the humerus (arm bone) and the socket is within the scapula (shoulder blade). The design of this joint allows individuals a great range of motion at the shoulder.
Joint replacement involves surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint. This surgery creates new joint surfaces.
In shoulder replacement surgery, your surgeon replaces the ends of the damaged upper arm bone (humerus) and usually the shoulder bone (scapula) or cap them with artificial surfaces lined with plastic or metal and plastic.
Shoulder joint components may be held in place with cement. Or they may be made with material that allows new bone to grow into the joint component over time to hold it in place without cement.