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Shoulder Replacement

Injury, disease, overuse, and long-term wear and tear on the shoulder can lead to painful conditions such as frozen shoulder, shoulder arthritis, and rotator cuff tears, which can often make simple movements difficult and demanding activities impossible. As a result, your enjoyment of life may suffer immeasurably.

When you schedule an appointment for examination, our skilled orthopaedic specialists will recommend a series of minimally invasive treatments tailored to your unique needs to help alleviate the symptoms of your shoulder condition; however, if conservative methods do not offer improvement after a reasonable period of time, surgical intervention may be required. Fortunately, our surgeons perform the most advanced techniques available, and total shoulder replacement from our practice often provides significant pain relief and long-lasting results.

Shoulder Treatments

Before determining you require surgical intervention our skilled physicians will recommend trying a number of non-surgical methods, which may include physical therapy, bracing, splinting, orthotics, injections, and/or stretching. Since the shoulder is not a weight-bearing joint, these conservative methods often provide a great deal of relief, and they may be all that is necessary for you to function normally. In the event they do not help, your surgeon may suggest a surgical procedure. Ultimately, the decision to undergo total shoulder replacement is up to you, and our doctors will work with you to find the treatment that best suits your anatomical needs and lifestyle.

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

There are several approaches available for total shoulder replacement, including total reverse shoulder replacement surgery. During the course of your treatment, your physician will recommend the method that offers the best possible opportunity for success based on your anatomical indicators, lifestyle, current health, and age, as well as other contributing factors. He or she will also address any concerns you may have and answer questions about the procedure and follow-up care. Typically, shoulder replacement surgery is designed to replace the malfunctioning or worn-down joint with an artificial version often made with a combination of a plastic cup-like device and metal ball. Depending on the type of procedure you undergo, the cup and ball will be placed in different positions to achieve the most effective results possible.

Shoulder Replacement Recovery

With our minimally invasive and arthroscopic surgical procedures you may have a shorter recovery period than with traditional open surgery. In addition to these advanced techniques, we also employ a rapid recovery program that utilizes innovative pain management methods that may be able to help you heal faster than other approaches. Your orthopaedic specialist will discuss which type of operation you will have and the expected downtime involved. Typically, you will remain in the hospital for approximately two to three days, depending on how quickly you begin to heal. Numbness in the treated area is normal, including in the wrist and fingers, due to anesthesia. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort during this period and the next few days. In many cases, ice will be applied to the surgery site to help reduce swelling.

Your arm will be placed in a sling, which you should wear for about four to six weeks or as long as your doctor recommends. With nearly all operations, you will be required to participate in physical therapy to help restore function and mobility to the shoulder. You should perform simple exercises as directed to avoid developing stiffness in the affected arm. Your bandages should be kept dry until removed, and the incision should be well cared for according to the directions given by the doctor. In most cases, you should be able to use your arm for normal activities, such as eating, writing, or shaving; however, lifting and sudden movements are not recommended until the doctor suggests this is acceptable. Typically, patients regain full shoulder movement after approximately six weeks, depending on the recovery rate; however, we will determine the appropriate moment based on your unique healing pace. At this point you may return to driving, work, and certain other physical activities.

If you have additional questions about total shoulder replacement, or if you wish to schedule an appointment with our physicians, please contact us today.

Be sure to visit our Shoulder Joint Preservation Center for important information.

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