What to Expect in Your Shoulder Replacement Surgery

What to Expect in Your Shoulder Replacement Surgery

What to Expect in Your Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Anyone's quality of life can be negatively impacted by joint injury or degeneration. That is why more than 600,000 people a year elect to have joint replacement surgery. Total shoulder replacements are becoming as common as hip and knee replacements. This is a rare but helpful operation performed by an orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs that helps with pain and mobility.

Why Shoulder Surgery?

Like the hip, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that allows for an excellent range of motion and flexibility. Bone and cartilage can deteriorate over time owing to disorders like osteoarthritis and general use.

Replacement of the arthritic shoulder joint with a prosthesis is the goal of total shoulder replacement surgery. Patients whose discomfort is severe enough to make even minor arm movements difficult are good candidates for surgery. In addition, surgery is the best option when non-surgical treatment has been unsuccessful repeatedly. The rotator cuff, in particular, takes a hit when a joint is compromised.

What to Expect in Your Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery involves cutting the shoulder joint in two and replacing the ball and socket with an artificial one. The metal and plastic or nylon implants mimic the ball and socket structure of the natural shoulder joint.

The injured ball and socket are removed in a reverse complete shoulder replacement. But the replacement hardware is inserted opposite, after the shoulder and upper arm bones have been reshaped to make room. The ball is attached to the scapula, and a socket is inserted into the upper arm bone. This surgery is necessary when there is a significant injury to the rotator cuff.

Removal of the Damage

Your surgeon will displace the pectoral and deltoid muscles to gain access to a region with fewer nerves during the procedure. This reduces the potential for muscle and nerve injury. A six-inch incision is made to gain access to the shoulder joint. To access the ball and socket of the shoulder joint, the surgeon will make an incision in one of the rotator cuff muscles.

Inspection of the Muscle

After removing the upper arm bone from its socket, the surgeon thoroughly examines it. They will remove damaged tissue and bone spurs on the bone's surface. The ball of the humerus is then removed. And a tapered metal stem is inserted into the top of the humerus to secure the new ball. This ensures its steadiness and durability.

Inserting the New Joint

The glenoid is then shaped, scraped, and finished with a surgical tool called a reamer (the socket). This helps prepare the area for an artificial socket to be inserted, likely constructed of plastic or nylon.

An implanted keel or pegs secure it to the surrounding bone. The artificial ball is precisely sized to fit into the prosthetic socket, allowing your new shoulder joint to move freely and easily. Bone cement secures some prostheses, while others rely solely on the pegs and keel. Shoulder replacement surgery can involve either a cemented or press-fit (cementless) joint, but your surgeon will decide which option is best for you.

Finding the Best Solution for Your Needs

The surgeon may test out a few different-sized temporary balls before firmly attaching the new ball to the humeral stem. They'll try on a range of sizes to ensure the shoulder doesn't dislocate while moving it. When they're happy with the fit, the temporary ball is removed, and the permanent prosthetic is screwed into the patient's arm bone. After the joint's functionality has been confirmed through testing, the incision is closed using sutures or staples, and any damaged muscles and tissue are healed.

After the Surgery

In the early stages of recovery, you should expect to be closely observed before being moved to a regular hospital room or, in some cases, sent home. Arrange for some help at your home in the days after your surgery to help with the process of healing.

These are a few things you can expect from shoulder replacement surgery. If you are considering whether it is time for your surgery, talk with our experienced orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs. Contact Florida Bone and Joint to hear more today.