Total Shoulder Replacement
The shoulder joint is the third most frequently replaced joint after the hip and knee, with roughly 50,000 procedures being performed in the United States between 2005 and 2006.
Lack of range of motion and pain are the main reasons patients consider this operative treatment. Whether your pain and limited range of motion is a result of osteoarthritis, a rotator cuff tear or a fracture, it can be very debilitating and can affect normal day-to-day activities.
The first step to returning to an active lifestyle is to make an appointment with your orthopaedic surgeon. After a thorough examination, your surgeon will make a recommendation regarding surgery. Generally speaking, you are a candidate if you experience shoulder joint pain that is severe enough to prevent you from carrying out normal daily activities and your pain is not responsive to non-surgical treatments. Chronic shoulder problems can prevent you from enjoying everyday activities, but thanks to today’s advanced technology, you no longer have to live with pain.
Joint replacement surgery is a major operation. As with any major operation, there are possible complications. Some of these are related to anesthesia, while others are associated with the joint surgery itself. Every possible effort is made by the medical team to prevent complications, but this cannot be accomplished without your participation. Therefore, it is important that patients know about the following, which include but are not limited to, infection, blood clots, implant breakage, malalignment, stiffness, dislocation and nerve damage.
Any of these can require additional surgery. Although implant surgery is successful in most cases, some patients still experience stiffness and pain. No implant will last forever and factors such as a patient’s age and activity level can affect longevity. Your surgeon will discuss these and other relevant risks with you.
There are many things that your surgeon will do to minimize the potential for complications. Your surgeon may ask you to see your family physician before surgery to obtain tests to better understand your medical condition.