Individuals in Berks County and beyond have come to rely on Dr. Stephen R. Soffer’s experience when considering total shoulder replacement and treatment for a wide range of other orthopedic conditions.
Dr. Soffer practices orthopedic surgery at Berkshire Orthopedics, a division of Keystone Orthopedics, in Wyomissing, PA. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and was fellowship trained by the internationally renowned sports surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.
Dr. Soffer specializes in arthroscopy and the treatment of many sports-related injuries, as well as the open and arthroscopic treatment of shoulder, knee and elbow injuries. He also performs artificial joint replacement for arthritis of the shoulder, knee and hip.
About the Shoulder Joint
The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball, or head, of the upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade, called the glenoid. Where the bones touch, cartilage protects the bones and a synovial membrane lubricates the cartilage to maintain easy shoulder movement. In fact, healthy shoulders have a greater range of motion than other joints.
Most shoulder problems occur from wear and tear, traumatic injury, and arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Athletes who play contact sports, such as football or hockey, often experience shoulder injuries. Frequent lifting and repetitive shoulder movements can be responsible for wear and tear.
Arthritis of the shoulder can cause the cartilage on the ball and socket to deteriorate over time, sometimes exposing areas of raw bone. As the arthritis advances, the joint surfaces become rough, causing friction and inflammation.
These injuries and conditions may cause debilitating pain, stiffness, and loss of shoulder function. If the pain limits your daily activities or interferes with your sleep, your doctor may recommend total shoulder replacement.
Total Shoulder Arthroplasty
When the normally smooth surfaces of the shoulder joint become worn or damaged from arthritis or injury, total shoulder replacement, also called total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), can restore comfort and function to the joint.
TSA is a very reliable procedure that involves replacing the shoulder joint with a new artificial joint. It is the third most common joint replacement surgery after the knee and the hip. Most patients go from being limited to raising their arms no higher than shoulder level to being able to raise them above the shoulder.
Depending on the circumstances, the surgeon may recommend a total shoulder replacement in which both the ball and socket are replaced, a partial shoulder replacement where only the ball is replaced, or a reverse shoulder replacement in which the normal structure of the shoulder is reversed (primarily for patients with a severely torn and compromised rotator cuff).
An incision is made on the front of the shoulder, the joint is exposed, and the damaged ends of the bone (humerus and glenoid) are removed and replaced with an artificial joint.
Why Choose Dr. Soffer?
Because shoulder replacement is a complex surgery, it is best performed by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder surgery, such as Dr. Soffer.
During residency training, most surgeons perform many knee and hip replacements, but never see a shoulder replacement in order to gain experience. Studies, such as this one from the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, have shown that complication rates are lower in the hands of an experienced surgeon.
In recognition of his orthopedic expertise, Dr. Soffer has been included as one of Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors® in Orthopedic Surgery and one of U.S. News & World Report’s Top Doctors for the last five years.
Dr. Soffer provides state-of-the-art shoulder treatment in Berks County, including total shoulder replacement. If you are anxious to eliminate your pain and return to an active lifestyle, contact us at 610-375-4949 to find out how Dr. Soffer can help.