If you have experienced ongoing shoulder pain, your doctor may recommend considering a total shoulder replacement procedure. This operation can both alleviate pain and help to restore your range of motion. Of course, the idea of a total replacement may sound intimidating to some, so it is a good idea to start by better understanding this beneficial procedure. Let the professionals at Rothman Institute answer some of your questions as you and your doctor decide if this surgery is right for you.
What is Total Shoulder Replacement?
Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint which allows your arm the range of motion necessary for all sorts of day to day activities. However, when this joint becomes injured or severely worn, that normal functioning is inhibited. Rather than live with the pain and stiffness, a total shoulder replacement procedure helps you to regain your original mobility by removing bone and cartilage that have become painful or immobile due to degeneration or injury. The damaged ball-and-socket elements are removed and replaced with metal and plastic implants. These prosthetic pieces are secured to the still healthy arm and shoulder blade bones, recreating the original motion and function of the joint.
Do I Qualify for Total Shoulder Replacement?
When it comes to shoulder injuries and repairs, each individual case is a little bit different. So, it is important to talk with your doctor about all of your symptoms, risk factors, and options. If you have not yet tried more conservative options to relieve your shoulder pains, that would be a good place to start. However, if you have tried other methods and still experience pain and immobility, and are in otherwise good health, you may be a good candidate for the total shoulder replacement procedure.
How Should I Prepare for a Total Shoulder Replacement Procedure?
There are a few important steps to take as you prepare for your total shoulder replacement procedure. First, make sure that you establish open and comfortable communication with your doctor and surgeon. It is important that you are able to ask any lingering questions as well as provide them with information about your current and past health. Additionally, try to achieve your optimal health prior to the procedure, as small infections may set back the date of your surgery. Initial wellness will also help in a smoother recovery. Finally, make sure you are prepared for your recovery after the procedure. For about 6-12 weeks, you should plan to have assistance with tasks like driving and daily chores. Your surgeon may have other important instructions regarding your preparation, so it is important to talk about these with him or her prior to the operation.
What Results Should I Expect from Shoulder Replacement?
Shoulder replacement is primarily done to in order to relieve severe pain due to injury or arthritis. You can also expect to experience a decrease in stiffness and an improved range of motion. After the procedure, you will likely be assigned some physical therapy or stretches to do; performing these as instructed will also go a long way in optimizing your results. However, results will vary with each individual case, so take time to talk with your doctor about what results to expect.
Who Should I Trust for My Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
If you and your doctor decide it is time for your total shoulder replacement procedure, turn to Rothman Institute for the highest quality care. Our experienced shoulder surgeons specialize in their field, ensuring that you are being treated by those with the greatest expertise. They combine the latest orthopaedic science and technology with compassionate care, providing you with internationally recognized excellence in service every step of the way.