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Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery is an effective form of treatment for multiple shoulder conditions where damaged parts of the shoulder are replaced with artificial components. The procedure helps restore mobility and relieve patients of severe pain and disability to get them back to their everyday activities, jobs, and athletics.

Which Conditions Does Shoulder Replacement Surgery Treat?

  • The most common condition that patients seek shoulder replacement surgery for is osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis. It is caused by wear and tear and causes joint pain and stiffness. It is most common among older adults.
  • Other conditions that shoulder replacement surgery may treat include:
    • Post-traumatic arthritis (e.g. previous fracture or dislocation)
    • Rheumatoid or other inflammatory arthritis
    • Irreparable rotator cuff tears
    • Severe acute fractures of the shoulder joint
    • Failed previous shoulder surgery

  • The most common condition that patients seek shoulder replacement surgery for is osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis. It is caused by wear and tear and causes joint pain and stiffness. It is most common among older adults.
  • Other conditions that shoulder replacement surgery may treat include:
    • Post-traumatic arthritis (e.g. previous fracture or dislocation)
    • Rheumatoid or other inflammatory arthritis
    • Irreparable rotator cuff tears
    • Severe acute fractures of the shoulder joint
    • Failed previous shoulder surgery

What to Know About Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Not everyone needs surgery to treat their degenerative or injured shoulder, but for those who do, there are multiple options available.

Types of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

  • Total shoulder replacement – The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint (like your hip), a replacement typically involves replacing the “ball” atop your upper arm as well as the “socket” in your shoulder blade.
  • Partial shoulder replacement – If the damaged part of the shoulder is isolated to a specific area, our surgeons may recommend a partial shoulder replacement where only the ball is replaced.
  • Reverse shoulder replacement – This type of surgery is used in multiple cases where the rotator cuff musculature is either unable to be repaired or unable to be relied upon for long-term function. In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the ball and socket positions are reversed. This alteration changes the mechanics of your shoulder, allowing the shoulder to rely on large muscle groups instead of the rotator cuff.

Who is a Good Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

While shoulder replacement surgery is becoming more common, the treatment is typically recommended for:

  • Patients who experience interference with normal daily activities because of chronic degenerative conditions or significant acute shoulder injuries.
  • Patients who experience severe shoulder pain to the point where everyday activities are painful and difficult such as washing in the shower, reaching for something, etc.
  • Patients with poor range of motion or weakness in the shoulder.
  • Patients who experience significant shoulder pain while they are sleeping.
  • Patients who have not responded to other treatments like physical therapy, medications, injections, or other procedures.
  • Patients who had a previously unsuccessful shoulder surgery.

What Can I Expect During Recovery Following Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Depending on their overall health and other factors, patients could go home the same day of the surgery (outpatient) or they may require a hospital stay for overnight observation.

A sling will be recommended for approximately one month to provide protection and promote healing.

All patients have a nerve block performed pre-operatively that can help your anesthesiologist minimize or avoid narcotics during your surgery. This allows you to wake up more easily and feel better immediately after surgery. In addition, the nerve block can keep your arm pain-free for 18 to 30 hours, further helping you avoid post-op narcotic use.

Most shoulder replacement surgery patients experience minimal post-op pain, often requiring only non-narcotic medications.

A patient’s recovery experience is also dependent on his or her adherence to a recovery plan.
The recovery plan for shoulder replacement surgery may include:

  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy will start a few days after surgery to prevent stiffness, initiating early motion while appropriately protecting the shoulder as you resume your daily routine.
  • Limiting or modifying activities for the first 4-6 months post-op.

  • Total shoulder replacement – The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint (like your hip), a replacement typically involves replacing the “ball” atop your upper arm as well as the “socket” in your shoulder blade.
  • Partial shoulder replacement – If the damaged part of the shoulder is isolated to a specific area, our surgeons may recommend a partial shoulder replacement where only the ball is replaced.
  • Reverse shoulder replacement – This type of surgery is used in multiple cases where the rotator cuff musculature is either unable to be repaired or unable to be relied upon for long-term function. In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the ball and socket positions are reversed. This alteration changes the mechanics of your shoulder, allowing the shoulder to rely on large muscle groups instead of the rotator cuff.

While shoulder replacement surgery is becoming more common, the treatment is typically recommended for:

  • Patients who experience interference with normal daily activities because of chronic degenerative conditions or significant acute shoulder injuries.
  • Patients who experience severe shoulder pain to the point where everyday activities are painful and difficult such as washing in the shower, reaching for something, etc.
  • Patients with poor range of motion or weakness in the shoulder.
  • Patients who experience significant shoulder pain while they are sleeping.
  • Patients who have not responded to other treatments like physical therapy, medications, injections, or other procedures.
  • Patients who had a previously unsuccessful shoulder surgery.

Depending on their overall health and other factors, patients could go home the same day of the surgery (outpatient) or they may require a hospital stay for overnight observation.

A sling will be recommended for approximately one month to provide protection and promote healing.

All patients have a nerve block performed pre-operatively that can help your anesthesiologist minimize or avoid narcotics during your surgery. This allows you to wake up more easily and feel better immediately after surgery. In addition, the nerve block can keep your arm pain-free for 18 to 30 hours, further helping you avoid post-op narcotic use.

Most shoulder replacement surgery patients experience minimal post-op pain, often requiring only non-narcotic medications.

A patient’s recovery experience is also dependent on his or her adherence to a recovery plan.
The recovery plan for shoulder replacement surgery may include:

  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy will start a few days after surgery to prevent stiffness, initiating early motion while appropriately protecting the shoulder as you resume your daily routine.
  • Limiting or modifying activities for the first 4-6 months post-op.

Why Choose Sports Medicine North for Shoulder Issues

Orthopaedic Associates of Manhasset’s orthopedic shoulder surgeons are amongst the most experienced and comprehensive surgeons in the area dedicated to providing surgical and nonsurgical approaches to treating acute and chronic shoulder conditions. We provide shoulder care for adolescents and adults with sports injuries and work-related injuries.

Our specialists strive to offer the highest level of shoulder care that helps patients restore function, restore anatomy, and relieve the pain they are experiencing in their shoulder. We are always happy to provide patients with “second opinions,” for potential surgery or failed prior surgery. We work closely with our esteemed therapists at our two on-site physical and occupational therapy locations pre- and post-operatively to provide you with the best “team” approach care for your shoulder problem.

Physicians

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