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Total Shoulder Replacement

Why is Shoulder Replacement Surgery Performed?

Shoulder replacement surgery should be performed to alleviate pain and improve function. It is an excellent option for patients that have failed other conservative measures such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. Conditions that commonly lead to shoulder replacement surgery include:

  • Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Fractures
  • Osteonecrosis1

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Arthritis is a common disease that affects the shoulder, causing joint pain, stiffness and swelling, and is a leading cause of total shoulder replacement. When a person gets arthritis, they lose cartilage or the cushion in the joint. Cartilage allows the joint to glide easily during motion. When enough cartilage wear occurs, bone on bone rubbing begins, which can be very painful. In addition, the joint becomes inflamed and there is usually a restriction of motion.

How is Shoulder Arthritis Diagnosed?

Many patients will complain of a deep ache that can radiate down the arm. The pain usually gets worse with movement or activity. With time, there may even be pain at rest and eventually, patients will awaken at night with shoulder pain. Patients often complain of grinding and difficulty with motion. A physician will diagnose arthritis through a thorough physical exam and taking the proper x-rays.

Preparing for Shoulder Replacement

Prior to shoulder replacement surgery, patients undergo a CT scan. The images produced during this scan are uploaded into a 3D planning system that allows the orthopedic surgeon to create customized, patient-specific guides for the shoulder implant.

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How Long Will My Shoulder Replacement Last?

Anytime implants are used to replace your normal anatomy, it is expected that they will wear with time. The survivorship of a shoulder replacement is up to 93% at 10 years and 87% at 15 years.3 At one year from the time of surgery, 98.4% of patients reported an improvement in shoulder pain, function, and satisfaction.4

What Are My Restrictions After a Total Shoulder Replacement?

Most activities can be resumed after a shoulder replacement. A person usually resumes activities such as swimming, golf and tennis by six months after surgery. Activities that involve major impact (such as contact sports or those where falls are frequent) or heavy loads (such as lifting heavy weights) should be avoided since these may increase the chance of rotator cuff tears, hardware loosening, increased wear and/or fracture.

Contact Beacon Orthopaedics

If you are suffering from shoulder pain and problems that have not responded adequately to physical therapy and other non-invasive treatments, total shoulder replacement may be the solution for you. To learn more about this procedure and your candidacy, contact Beacon Orthopaedics to schedule a consultation with a shoulder specialist.