The First Ever Shoulder Replacement

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These days replacing a body part including, different joints and major organs like the liver and kidneys is not a very big deal. And while shoulder replacements have become quite common these days. Medical science was not as advanced back in the day and even a shoulder replacement excited the boundaries of medicine. This picture is of the first ever shoulder prosthesis that was placed in a human being. This replacement actually had a positive functional outcome too!

The history of shoulder arthroplasty dates back to 1892 when a prosthesis was used in the shoulder replace an infected tubercular joint. This was the first ever joint replacement with a prosthesis. 26 years later, the first prosthetic hip joint replacement was done.

The photo was taken to showcase the first ever shoulder replacement which was performed in 1892 by Jules E. Pean on a 37-year-old patient with tuberculous arthritis. The arthroplasty included an iridescent platinum tube, a hardened rubber ball coated with paraffin, and two metal loops that attached the ball to the scapula and the tube. The prosthesis had a positive functional outcome and the patient reported with an increased range of motion and strength after recovery.

However, the prosthesis had to be removed two years later because of infection.


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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.

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