Shoulder pain can be a debilitating problem for many individuals. Whether it’s due to arthritis, a rotator cuff injury, or another condition, the ongoing pain and stiffness can make even the simplest tasks unbearable. Fortunately, shoulder replacement surgery can offer relief and improved quality of life. If you're considering this type of procedure, it’s essential to understand what it entails and what to expect. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the key things you need to know before deciding on shoulder replacement surgery.
Understanding the anatomy of your shoulder is crucial in determining whether a replacement will be necessary. In a healthy shoulder, the upper arm bone fits into a socket on the shoulder blade. The cartilage in the shoulder joint absorbs shock and allows for smooth movement. When this cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may be recommended.
Before surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation to assess your overall health and determine the best treatment plan. You may be asked to stop taking certain medications, including blood thinners, to reduce the risk of bleeding during the procedure. Your surgeon may also refer you to a physical therapist to help you prepare for surgery with exercises designed to improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around your shoulder.
There are two main types of shoulder replacement surgery: total and partial. Total shoulder replacement involves replacing both the ball and socket of the shoulder joint with artificial components, while partial shoulder replacement replaces only the ball. Your surgeon will determine the best procedure for your condition based on the severity of the damage and your overall health.
After surgery, you will need to undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation to help you regain strength and mobility. Your doctor may recommend a sling or immobilizer to keep your shoulder stable as it heals. It may take several months to regain full use of your shoulder, and it's important to follow your doctor's instructions and attend all physical therapy appointments.
As with any surgery, there are risks and potential complications during and after the procedure. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and instability of the joint. While the risks are relatively low, you should discuss any concerns with your doctor before making the decision to undergo surgery.
Ultimately, deciding on shoulder replacement surgery is a personal choice that requires careful consideration and collaboration with your healthcare team. If you're experiencing chronic shoulder pain and stiffness, it's important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to determine whether surgery is the right option for you. By understanding the anatomy of your shoulder, preparing for the procedure, and being aware of the types of surgery, recovery process, and potential risks and complications, you can make an informed decision that will help you regain mobility and improve your quality of life. Contact Central Florida Bone and Joint Institute today for more information.