Advances in medical technology have made prosthetic shoulder joints much more cutting-edge, longer lasting, and able to replicate the movement of an original, healthy shoulder joint. Shoulder joint replacement surgery may be considered an option by your orthopedic surgeon if your range of motion is severely limited, your quality of life is compromised, or your pain is severe and hasn't been alleviated significantly by conservative treatments like medications, physical therapy, and injections. Depending on the severity, causation, and source of your shoulder pain, your orthopedic surgeons may recommend a joint replacement of either two or three components. A partial joint replacement consists of the two components and is used when the socket portion of the shoulder is healthy and does not need to be replaced. The total shoulder joint replacement consists of three parts and is indicated when the socket portion of the shoulder does need to be replaced due to deterioration or degeneration.
Total shoulder joint replacement surgeries are far less common than hip or knee replacements, but are often extremely successful and very beneficial in restoring range of motion and pain relief. Advances in the structure of the artificial shoulder joint have improved the longevity of the joint, though it does not guarantee that the joint will last indefinitely. A repeat surgery may be required to replace the artificial joint with a new one or to reset the existing artificial joint.
As with any surgery, there are risks with a shoulder replacement surgery. Blood clots, infection of the incision site, shoulder dislocation and possible nerve injury or damage are all risks that may occur with shoulder replacement surgery.
It is extremely important to follow your orthopedic surgeon's post operative direction and avoid activities that put stress on the shoulder replacement. Physical therapy and specific exercises will be prescribed to help your shoulder heal and rebuild strength after the joint replacement surgery. Rehabilitation and physical therapy after your joint replacement surgery are extremely important and can often be the deciding factor whether the shoulder improves or not.
If you need a shoulder replacement or are considering your options for chronic shoulder pain, ask the orthopedic surgeon experts at Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists. Shoulder pain should not compromise your quality of life, or keep you from doing what you love.