More than 1 million total joint replacements are performed each year in the United States. A total joint replacement is a specialized surgical procedure that removes damaged components of a joint and replaces them with prosthetics.
Shoulder replacement surgery is a treatment option for people who have severe arthritis or shoulder fractures. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, limited mobility, or both, a shoulder replacement could give you long-lasting pain relief.
At Upper Extremity Specialists, of Synergy Orthopedic Specialists Medical Group, Kristopher Downing, MD, and Daniel Brereton, DO, specialize in shoulder replacement surgery. In this blog, they explain the benefits of shoulder replacement surgery, whether or not it may be right for you, and what’s involved in a procedure.
What are the benefits of shoulder replacement surgery?
Your shoulders are two of the most flexible joints in your body. If a disease, such as arthritis, or an injury, such as a traumatic fracture, has damaged a shoulder, the resulting condition may severely impact your mobility and quality of life.
The good news is that shoulder replacement surgery is an extremely effective procedure. In fact, 95% of patients report pain-free shoulder function one year after getting shoulder replacement surgery.
In most cases, shoulder replacement patients can return to their favorite hobbies in time, even if they had to avoid them due to shoulder pain in the past. Golfing, swimming, tennis, and more may be possible again after shoulder replacement surgery.
Is shoulder replacement surgery right for me?
It might be time to consider shoulder replacement surgery if conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and pain medication, don’t help you manage your pain. Dr. Downing and Dr. Brereton offer comprehensive shoulder evaluations, and they may recommend a shoulder replacement if you have:
- Severe osteoarthritis
- Severe rheumatoid arthritis
- Torn rotator cuff
- Complete shoulder fracture
People with extremely limited mobility and intense chronic pain in their shoulder are often good candidates for shoulder replacement surgery.
What happens during shoulder replacement surgery?
The exact procedure will depend on the condition of your joint, but no matter the case, the procedure will be customized for your joint. Your provider will carefully remove the damaged portions and replace the joint with a prosthetic one.
You’ll be able to move your shoulder almost immediately after your surgery, though your mobility will be limited for about six weeks. Following your procedure, you’ll undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation to help minimize post-surgical pain, build strength, and improve joint flexibility in your shoulder. Your provider will also give you instructions for at-home care.
You’ll begin noticing less pain as your shoulder heals. Most people experience a dramatic improvement in pain, flexibility, and mobility in their shoulder following a shoulder replacement.
You don’t have to live with the restrictions that come along with severe shoulder issues. To learn more about shoulder replacement surgery and to see if one could help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Upper Extremity Specialists today.