Shoulder replacement surgery has become a transformative solution for individuals suffering from debilitating shoulder conditions, such as arthritis, fractures, or severe injuries. As with any medical procedure, it’s natural for patients to have questions and concerns. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some common questions about shoulder replacement surgery, providing expert answers to help individuals make informed decisions.
What is Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
Shoulder replacement, also known as shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure where the damaged parts of the shoulder joint are replaced with artificial components. The surgery aims to relieve pain, improve function, and enhance the overall quality of life for individuals with severe shoulder problems.
Who is a Candidate for Shoulder Replacement?
Candidates for shoulder replacement typically experience persistent shoulder pain and reduced function that hasn’t responded to conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy, or injections. Common conditions leading to surgery include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and traumatic injuries.
What Types of Shoulder Replacements Exist?
There are two main types of shoulder replacements: total shoulder replacement and reverse total shoulder replacement. In a total shoulder replacement, both the ball and socket of the shoulder joint are replaced. Reverse total shoulder replacement is often recommended for individuals with complex shoulder conditions, where the positions of the ball and socket are reversed.
How Long Does the Recovery Process Take?
Recovery times vary, but most patients can expect a gradual improvement in shoulder function over several weeks to months. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process, helping patients regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion. It’s essential to follow the prescribed rehabilitation plan to achieve optimal outcomes.
What Are the Risks Associated with Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications. These may include infection, blood clots, nerve injury, or implant problems. However, advancements in surgical techniques and implant materials have significantly reduced these risks. It’s important for patients to discuss their individual health status and concerns with their orthopedic surgeon.
How Long Do Shoulder Replacements Last?
The longevity of a shoulder replacement depends on various factors, including the patient’s age, activity level, and the type of replacement. On average, shoulder replacements can last 15 to 20 years or more. Regular follow-up appointments with the orthopedic surgeon are crucial to monitor the implant’s condition and address any emerging issues.
Can I Return to Normal Activities After Shoulder Replacement?
Many patients can resume daily activities, including light sports and recreational pursuits, after recovering from shoulder replacement surgery. However, high-impact activities and heavy lifting may need to be limited to prevent excessive wear on the implant. Your orthopedic surgeon will provide specific guidelines based on your individual case.
What Innovations are Emerging in Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
Advancements in technology and surgical techniques continue to enhance shoulder replacement procedures. Minimally invasive approaches and improved rehabilitation protocols are some of the innovations contributing to better outcomes and faster recovery times.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery at OrthoKnox
Shoulder replacement surgery has proven to be a life-changing solution for individuals suffering from debilitating shoulder conditions. Asking the right questions and seeking expert advice can help patients navigate the decision-making process. If you or someone you know is considering shoulder replacement, consulting with Dr. David Hovis, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, can help guide you in the first steps toward a pain-free and more functional future.
With its board-certified surgeon and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For questions or for more information about how ORTHOKnox can perform your shoulder replacement or treat your shoulder arthritis, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!