Shoulder Replacement2017-01-13T11:25:20+00:00

Shoulder Replacement | Fishersville, VA

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Less common than other joint replacement surgeries, but commonly performed by our specialists, shoulder replacement is very successful in relieving joint pain and restoring range of motion. In shoulder replacement surgery, the worn, damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial components, known as a prosthesis.

The treatment options with shoulder replacement surgery are replacement of the head of the humerus bone (ball), or replacement of both the ball and the socket (glenoid). Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is the leading cause of shoulder joint replacement. The cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones softens and wears away. When the bones begin to rub together the pain can become intolerable. Shoulder replacement surgery is recommended when nonsurgical treatment options are no longer helpful.

Surgical Treatments

When these nonsurgical treatment options are no longer helpful, your doctor will likely recommend shoulder replacement. The treatment options with shoulder replacement surgery offered by Shenandoah Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are:

  • Hemiarthroplasty – is a shoulder replacement procedure that replaces the broken or worn humeral head with an artificial joint or prosthesis. The gleaned or socket of the shoulder is not replaced during this procedure.
  • Total shoulder replacement – The typical total shoulder replacement involves replacing the arthritic joint surfaces with a highly polished metal ball attached to a stem, and a plastic socket. Patients with bone-on-bone osteoarthritis and intact rotator cuff tendons are good candidates for total shoulder replacement.
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement – In reverse total shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. A metal ball is attached to the shoulder bone and a plastic socket is attached to the upper arm bone. This allows the patient to use the deltoid muscle instead of the torn rotator cuff to lift the arm.

Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is the leading cause of shoulder replacement surgery. Other indications for shoulder replacement surgery include rheumatoid arthritis and trauma or fractures.

Nonsurgical Treatments

There are several nonsurgical treatments that can be offered before surgery is recommended to include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Activity modification
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the joint
  • Steroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain

What to Expect After Shoulder Replacement Surgery

After shoulder replacement surgery, it is normal to feel pain and some discomfort which will be managed. Usually, patients stay in the hospital overnight. Pain management is a key component of your recovery, as reduced pain levels encourage faster recovery and healing.

The shoulder will need to be stabilized in a sling for 2-6 weeks after surgery. A well-planned rehabilitation program is vital to the success of a shoulder replacement. Gentle physical therapy will begin soon after your operation. You will learn exercises to be performed at home that will improve your flexibility and strengthen your shoulder.

As you begin to heal, the physical therapy regimen will become more challenging allowing you to fully regain the movement and range of motion, as well as strength in your new joint. In general, you can expect to be back to enjoying life and performing daily activities free of pain within 3-4 months of surgery.

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