For those experiencing chronic shoulder pain and stiffness, the need for surgical treatment may be on the horizon. When looking for physicians for total shoulder replacement, several key criteria should be considered.
- At what hospital do you practice? Find out right away where your surgery would take place. This can help with prior planning and alleviate any confusion early in the preparation process.
- What does the procedure actually entail? If you’re the kind of person that likes details, make sure the physician gives you all the information you’re looking for. Ask for a step by step run through of the surgery itself.
- Will my prosthetic joint be made of metal, plastic or another material? Will cement be used? Some of these details differ from one physician to the next, so be sure to find out what kinds of material each prospective surgeon plans to use. After all, it is your body - you should know what’s being taken out and what’s being added.
- What can I do to improve the results of my surgery? Most surgeons will tell you that maintaining a healthy lifestyle (quit smoking, lose or gain weight, if necessary) is the best thing you can do leading up to your procedure as well as during recovery.
- What kinds of risks are involved with this procedure? As always, infection is a risk of any surgical procedure, but physicians for total shoulder replacement can discuss more specific risks with you in more detail.
- How long will it take to fully recover and will I ever regain full range of motion? Patients should be aware of and should carefully follow the recovery instructions they receive from their physicians. The range of motion achieved is directly correlated to the patient’s commitment to physical therapy and regular maintenance stretching.