If you have experienced weakness, pain, or loss of motion in the shoulder, then your doctor may have recommended a shoulder replacement. Shoulder replacements are a common procedure at our orthopedic surgical center in Cary. We want to provide you with the necessary education, whether your surgery is currently scheduled or if it is something you are considering for the future.
A shoulder replacement is considered a complex surgery involving the replacement of the joints with artificial components. As a patient, the risks and benefits must be weighed, but many patients find significant relief from symptoms if they elect surgery.
A shoulder replacement is sometimes necessary if the patient has severe arthritis. The arthritis can be the result of an old fracture or simply from wear over time.
Some patients need to have the procedure after a torn rotator cuff. A torn rotator cuff is an injury where one or more of the four muscles surrounding the shoulder bone is injured. If not treated or not healed properly, it may be unstable, requiring a replacement.
Patients who elect shoulder replacement are often age 50 or older—both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are more prevalent after this age. Most often, the replacement will last for approximately ten years.
Your doctor will discuss risks and your medical history before the surgery.
Usually, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, though a local anesthetic can be used in some cases. The doctor can generally complete a shoulder replacement in about three hours.
After the surgery, you will be given medication to control pain. The provider will prescribe oral pain medication to take at home. Often antibiotics are also prescribed to help prevent infection.
You will have a brace to wear that may be taken off when you complete physical therapy. To start with, exercises will be simple, such as wrist movements or gentle elbow bending. The motion of the shoulder begins one to two days after the surgery. Physical therapy will continue for a couple of weeks.
At home, it will be important to ice regularly. Not only will it help with pain, but it will significantly reduce inflammation. It may take weeks to heal, but the result will provide improvement in the quality of life.
Once patients heal, they experience significant relief from pain. Many find complete relief, though some may note aching during certain weather or with strenuous activity.
The shoulder's motion and functionality are improved for many after surgery, but the degree of improvement varies. The degree of impairment or severity of the injury before the surgery will have an impact on results.
Overall, most patients are very happy with the results after a shoulder replacement and have few complications.
Are you wondering when is the right time to have a shoulder replacement? If your shoulder pain has an impact on your quality of life and interferes with your activities, maybe it’s time to consider a shoulder replacement.
Working closely with your providers at our Outpatient Orthopedic Surgery Centre in Cary will help you have the best outcome possible.
Connect with our surgery center at 919-582-3050 for additional information.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.