Tips For Recovery From Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

August 22nd, 2014

 Are you having trouble reaching your arm upward without pain? Does your shoulder joint feel stiff? Or, have you experienced the strange and surprising feeling of your shoulder popping out of its socket? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you most likely have a shoulder injury that will require care and a specialized treatment plan from a qualified orthopedic shoulder specialist. In fact, you may already be scheduled for a corrective procedure and perhaps you are just wondering about your recovery from shoulder surgery.

All About the Shoulder & the Replacement Procedure
Like the hip, the shoulder is the joint where a large bone (the humerus arm bone) rest inside of the “socket” of another. In this case, the shoulder blade or scapula is the socket end that houses the ball at the top of the arm bone.  This type of joint provides extensive range of motion and when the shoulder joint is healthy, it allows us to reach upward, stretch outward and rotate around.
When the cartilage and bone of the shoulder joint is significantly damaged, a shoulder replacement procedure is often the best option to relieve pain and get the joint back to a healthy, functional condition. This procedure involves replacing the damaged pieces with a polished metal ball on an artificial “stem,” which is anchored into the healthy part of the arm bone. The damaged socket is cleaned and a prosthetic replacement made of high-grade plastic is cemented onto the shoulder blade. The half moon shaped metal ball fits into the new socket, providing the patient with much improved range of motion and seamless “gliding” feel of a natural shoulder joint.
Recovery From Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery
As with any surgery, one of the most important aspects is the recovery afterwards. A patient scheduled for a shoulder replacement should talk with their surgeon in great detail concerning the process and steps involved in having a successful recovery.
Recovery from total shoulder replacement surgery will require a graduated therapeutic program under the direct supervision of your surgeon over a period of approximately 6 months. While this may sound like a long time, the shoulder needs time to relearn many of the activities it had not done properly for years.  the proper healing and strengthening of your new shoulder joint depends on it. Patients should arrange to have some routine help in the initial few weeks following surgery.
If you believe you may need shoulder replacement surgery, contact Rothman Institute. Our physicians specialize in advanced orthopedic treatment options and can review your options with you!

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