TOTAL SHOULDER REPLACEMENT
A shoulder replacement is a procedure that tries to eliminate the source of pain and dysfunction by replacing damaged parts of the shoulder joint with artificial components called prostheses. The most common reasons for a shoulder replacement surgery are osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, avascular necrosis or rheumatoid arthritis. The procedure is meant to relieve your pain, improve your strength, increase your range of motion and enable you to use your shoulder and arm.
WHEN A SHOULDER REPLACEMENT IS NEDDED?
The shoulder joint can be replaced by an artificial shoulder or shoulder replacement for pain caused by arthritis or when the shoulder is severely fractured or broken. Arthritis is when the cartilage on the ends of the bones is gone and there is bone rubbing on bone in the joint. Arthritis can be caused by fractures, rheumatoid disease, torn rotator cuff tendons or just by wear and tear over time.
More than 70,000 people in the United States have this procedure done every year.
You may be a candidate for shoulder replacement surgery if you have the following symptoms:
- Your shoulder pain is so severe that you struggle with everyday activities such as washing, getting dressed and reaching into a cabinet.
- You have loss of motion in your shoulder.
- You have weakness in your shoulder.
- You have pain that’s so bad that it prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep.
- You’ve tried anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy with no relief.
- You have prior arthroscopic surgery, rotator cuff or fracture repair that failed to relieve your symptoms.
HOW IS THE RECOVERY AFTER SURGERY?
After surgery the arm is immobilized in a sling to allow for wound healing. Patients report pain after surgery, but the pain generally improves after the first day and utilization of multimodal pain techniques have been shown to improve outcomes for patients. Most patients will report resolution of their preoperative deep achy pain within the first two weeks and note their pain from the surgery has subsided considerably. Your pain should continue slowly decreasing. Most individuals are happy they had a shoulder replacement around a couple of months post-op.