Practice Policy Update regarding COVID-19

Things to Know before Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Things to Know before Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Things to Know before Shoulder Replacement Surgery

More than 53,000 shoulder replacements are performed in the US every year. Although not as common as knee or hip replacement, shoulder replacement surgery has become increasingly popular due to advances in implant material and design as well as minimally invasive surgical techniques that offer improved quality of life for people with significantly damaged shoulders. Here are a few things to know before shoulder replacement surgery.

The different types of shoulder replacement surgeries:

  • Total shoulder replacement:·This is the most common type of procedure. The upper end of your arm bone is replaced with a metal ball-shaped prosthesis which fits into a plastic socket that covers your shoulder socket region.
  • Partial shoulder replacement:·Only the upper end of the arm bone is replaced with the metal ball-shaped prosthesis.
  • Reverse shoulder replacement:·The metal ball-shaped prosthesis is implanted into the shoulder socket region and the plastic socket portion of the prosthesis is implanted into the upper arm, which reverses the normal ball-and-socket anatomy of the shoulder joint. It is usually performed in case of a revision surgery or severe irreparable rotator cuff tears.

The type of shoulder replacement surgery appropriate for your condition will depend on the extent of injury to your shoulder.

Prior to undergoing shoulder replacement, you will likely undergo a complete evaluation including imaging studies to look inside the shoulder. Some of the medications that you are currently on may have to be stopped or changed prior to the surgery. You will have to cut back on alcohol consumption and stop smoking to prevent complications and to help you heal better postoperatively.

Patients can generally expect to return to most routine activities including driving at 6 weeks. More vigorous activities such as golf, swimming, or tennis may take 6 months.

Most shoulder implants will last between 10-20 years. Younger patients usually place a higher demand on their shoulder joint and may need a revision procedure at some point in the distant future, but patients above 65 years can safely expect their shoulder replacement to last for the rest of their life.

South Palm Orthopedics is a medical practice devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases of the body's musculoskeletal system. Our orthopedic surgeons have advanced fellowship training in the areas of hand & wrist, shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, trauma and fractures, foot and ankle, and sports medicine. The physicians of South Palm Orthopedics are committed to providing the highest level of orthopedic care to each and every patient each and every time.