Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder Replacement Q & A

What is a shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacement surgery is a procedure that addresses severe damage to your shoulder joint. Such damage can often result in severe pain, loss of motion, and inability to perform activities of daily living.

The shoulder is a complex structure that supports your mobility and allows you to lift your arm. Town Center Orthopaedics offers different shoulder replacement options, including partial, reverse, and total shoulder replacements.

During shoulder replacement surgery, your surgeon replaces the damaged parts of your shoulder with artificial components. These are made from metal and plastic.

Who needs shoulder replacement?

Town Center Orthopaedics may suggest shoulder replacement surgery if you suffer from severe pain that hasn’t responded or no longer responds to conservative treatments. Several conditions can cause such damage to your shoulder, including:

  • Injuries
  • Fractures
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Arthritis

In most cases, severe arthritis is the impetus for a shoulder replacement. Arthritis is the deterioration of the cartilage that covers the bone ends in your shoulder. This wear can result in the bones painfully rubbing against one another. A severely arthritic shoulder is very painful and can lead to complications like stiffness and bone spurs—excessive bone developing around the edges of the joint.

If you suffer from a painful shoulder condition, it can affect your ability to lift objects, exercise, or enjoy time with your loved ones. Shoulder replacement surgery offers long-term pain relief and restores your ability to return to activities of daily living.

What happens during shoulder replacement surgery?

During shoulder replacement surgery, your surgeon removes the damaged parts of your shoulder joint through an incision along the front of your upper arm.

Next, your surgeon prepares the area for your artificial shoulder replacement and positions the parts in place. Your surgeon then completes the procedure by ensuring that your new shoulder functions properly and closing your incisions. The procedure typically takes around two hours.

What are the limitations after shoulder replacement surgery?

Every procedure is different, so shoulder replacement recovery times vary. Typically, you will need to stay in the hospital or surgery center for a day or two. Some patients can go home the same day of their surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to minimize your discomfort during the recovery period. Typically, you will need to wear a sling, at least part-time, for several weeks.

Shoulder replacement surgery frequently requires physical therapy afterward. When prescribed, physical therapy helps restore your strength and stability, allowing you to gradually increase your activity level and progressively return to your routine.

At Town Center Orthopaedics, the surgeons and physical therapists work together to ensure each patient achieves a successful recovery after shoulder replacement surgery.

To schedule your shoulder replacement consultation, call Town Center Orthopaedics any time at (703) 435-6604, or book online today.

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