Total Shoulder Replacement Specialist

Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Jarrod R. Smith, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Surgeon located in Ashland, KY

If you suffer from debilitating shoulder pain as a result of arthritis or a severe injury, total shoulder replacement may be right for you. Highly skilled orthopedic surgeon Jarrod R. Smith, MD, performs reverse and anatomic shoulder replacement procedures at Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Ashland, Kentucky. To learn more about total shoulder replacement, call the office today to schedule an appointment.

Total Shoulder Replacement Q & A

What is a total shoulder replacement?

Total shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure that involves removing damaged or diseased tissue from the shoulder joint and replacing it with artificial (prosthetic) components. Although not as common as hip or knee replacements, about 53,000 Americans undergo shoulder replacement surgery every year.

When would I need a total shoulder replacement?

The goal of shoulder replacement surgery is to relieve pain and restore function to a shoulder that’s been damaged by injury or illness. Dr. Smith performs shoulder replacement surgery to treat a variety of conditions, including:


There are more than 100 types of arthritis. Common forms of this disease that affect the shoulder include osteoarthritis, or wear-and-tear damage to the joint, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition. Arthritis is one of the most prevalent causes of joint pain and disability.

Severe fractures

A fracture that shatters the bone into multiple pieces may be difficult or impossible to repair correctly. Additionally, a severe fracture may disrupt the blood supply to the area, causing bone tissue to die. In these cases, shoulder replacement may be the best option.

Rotator cuff tear arthropathy

This condition occurs when a large and long-standing rotator cuff tear causes changes in the shoulder joint. These changes may lead to arthritis, or degeneration of the cartilage in the joint.

Dr. Smith recommends surgery only in dire situations or when other treatments have failed. You may be a good candidate for shoulder replacement if you continue to suffer from shoulder pain and restricted mobility despite nonsurgical treatments, like physical therapy.

What should I expect from total shoulder replacement surgery?

First, Dr. Smith thoroughly reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam to make sure shoulder replacement is right for you. Then, he develops a customized treatment plan for your specific condition.

Dr. Smith is highly trained in different shoulder replacement techniques, including:

Anatomic shoulder replacement

This method mimics the natural anatomy of your shoulder, which is a ball-and-socket joint. Dr. Smith replaces the socket on your shoulder blade with a plastic cup and the head of your humerus with a metal ball.  

Reverse shoulder replacement

Reverse shoulder replacement still uses a ball and socket, but in the opposite positions. Dr. Smith attaches a metal ball to your shoulder socket and then attaches a plastic cup to the head of your humerus. This procedure is best for patients with rotator cuff tear arthropathy, because it relies on the deltoid muscle for movement rather than the rotator cuff.

To learn more about your options for shoulder replacement surgery, call Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to schedule an appointment.