Shoulder Replacement Surgery: What You Need to Know

Every day, thousands of people suffer from shoulder pain and struggle with a limited range of motion. Chronic shoulder pain can greatly affect your quality of life, whether it is getting dressed in the morning, preparing a meal, or driving your car and other basic activities. Although this pain can be treated in many non-surgical ways, the pain may become too great and surgery must be considered. With shoulder replacement surgery, patients who previously suffered from severe shoulder pain can feel like themselves again.

Types of Shoulder Pain and Pain Management

Shoulder pain can stem from any number of common joint complications. The most common of these is arthritis, which is often diagnosed by an orthopedic specialist in one of the following forms:

Shoulder Replacement Surgery What You Need to Know

  • Osteoarthritis happens when joint cartilage breaks down and bone is left to rub on bone, causing pain and immobility.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a full-body ailment in which the body’s immune system attacks the joints, resulting in inflammation and pain.
  • Traumatic arthritis occurs when a fracture, tear or dislocation causes disruptions in the joint.
  • Rotator cuff tear arthropathy is a rare type of arthritis in which a large tear is present in the rotator cuff. These tears cannot be fixed and can cause severe discomfort and immobility.

In most cases, shoulder pain caused by arthritis or any other disease or ailment can be managed with pain medications and nonsurgical treatment. Physical therapy and activity modification can enable sufferers to reduce the symptoms right from the comfort of their own homes. In more severe cases, patients may need to visit a physical therapist outside of their home. A combination of these three treatments will most often reduce pain and immobility to a manageable level.

In some cases, these treatment options may not be enough. Should the discomfort and loss of movement be unbearable and unmanageable, the patient and doctor may consider shoulder replacement surgery.

Before the Surgery

A few weeks prior to surgery, the patient’s primary care physician will be asked to complete a medical evaluation which outlines any preexisting medical conditions and how they are being treated. If any medical conditions are not under control, the surgery may need to be postponed. This medical evaluation often involves an X-ray, EKG and blood work.

During the Surgery

During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will be replacing any worn joint surfaces. Depending on the patient’s specific pains and needs, the surgeon will decide which ones should and can be replaced. Every patient is different and has different needs. Therefore, no two shoulder replacement surgeries are the same.

After the Surgery

Following the surgery, the patient will recover from anesthesia and will be checked in to a hospital room for anywhere from a day or two to a week, depending upon the individual’s case. The patient will begin a structured physical therapy routine that is designed to rebuild muscle and develop the proper range of motion.

Experience Comfort Again

Shoulder replacement surgery has improved the quality of life for thousands of individuals by restoring their range of motion and vastly reducing shoulder pain. To learn more about shoulder pain treatment options, contact The Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics or call 1-855-409-7520 today!