Am I A Good Candidate for Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Shoulder Pain Injury

If your shoulder is seriously damaged, you may need total shoulder replacement surgery if other types of treatment haven’t provided enough relief.

In this blog, the medical team at Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison NY explains what you need to know about total shoulder replacement surgery, including whether you may be a good candidate for this procedure:

What is total shoulder replacement surgery?

Total shoulder replacement surgery – also called total shoulder arthroplasty – is a procedure that removes the damaged joints in the shoulder and replaces them with artificial parts. Since the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, this means the head of the humerus bone (the ball), as well as the glenoid (the socket), is replaced.

Why is it needed?

Shoulder replacement surgery can be performed if your shoulder has become painful and disabled due to any of the following reasons:

Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) – an age-related type of arthritis that’s caused by wear and tear on the shoulder joint over the years. It causes the cartilage (rubbery tissue that acts as a cushion between bones) to wear away so your bones end up rubbing against one another. This causes pain as well as stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis – causes chronic inflammation that can damage the cartilage, causing pain and stiffness

A serious shoulder injury – such as a broken bone

A torn rotator cuff – these muscles and tendons keep your shoulder’s ball in its socket and let you raise and rotate your arm

What does the process involve?

During shoulder arthroplasty surgery, your doctor will remove the damaged head of the humerus and insert the stem of an artificial ball into it. The socket is then enlarged, and the artificial cup is inserted into it and then secured.

If you have bone spurs (hard bumps that forms around your shoulder) or soft tissue adhesions (tissue fiber that can restrict movement and cause pain) in your shoulder, these can also be removed during a total shoulder replacement.

Who is a good candidate for total shoulder replacement surgery?

You may be a good candidate for this procedure if you:

  • Are in generally good health
  • Have severe shoulder arthritis
  • Have symptoms that severely affect your quality of life by interfering with your everyday activities and/or sleep
  • Have loss of motion or weakness in your shoulder
  • Have tried more conservative treatments – such as medication and physical therapy – but they haven’t provided enough relief

What are the benefits of this type of surgery?

Total shoulder replacement surgery can greatly improve your quality of life. You should experience less pain and have improved motion, strength, and function in your shoulder after surgery.

What is recovery like?

After your surgery, you’ll be given antibiotics to help prevent infection. You’ll probably be able to get out of bed the day after your surgery and will probably be able to go home by the first, second, or third day after your total shoulder replacement.

You’ll also receive medication for short-term pain relief and will need to begin physical therapy.
When you’re at home, your arm will be in a sling for a few weeks, and you may need some help with daily tasks. You also won’t be able to drive for a few weeks.
You should avoid soaking your wound in water until it’s completely sealed.

If you have severe shoulder arthritis, contact us today for a consultation with Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison, NY. We’re committed to providing a comprehensive approach to non-surgical treatments as well as offering the latest, most effective surgical procedure when appropriate.

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