Shoulder Replacement Surgery
About Your Shoulder
The joint where your upper arm connects to your body is a ball-and-socket joint. The bone in your upper arm, called the humerus, has a round end that fits into the curved structure on the outside of your shoulder blade. Ligaments and tendons hold it together. Ligaments connect the bones, while tendons connect muscles to the bone. A layer of tissue called cartilage keeps the bones apart, so they don't rub against each other. The ball and socket lets you move your arm up and down, back and forward, or in a circle.In shoulder replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial components, called a prosthesis. The treatment options are either replacement of just the head of the humerus bone (ball), or replacement of both the ball and the socket (glenoid).
Why you may need a Shoulder Replacement
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend shoulder replacement surgery. People who benefit from surgery often have:
1. Severe shoulder pain that interferes with everyday activities, such as reaching into a cabinet, dressing, toileting, and washing.
2. Moderate to severe pain while resting. This pain may be severe enough to prevent a good night's sleep.
3. Loss of motion and/or weakness in the shoulder.
4. Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, or physical therapy.
There are three types of shoulder replacement surgeries:
Total shoulder replacement
This is the most common type. It replaces the ball at the top of your humerus with a metal ball, which gets attached to the remaining bone. The socket gets covered with a new plastic surface.
Partial shoulder replacement
Only the ball gets replaced.
Reverse shoulder replacement
Usually, you'd get this if you have a torn rotator cuff. It's also done when another shoulder replacement surgery didn't work. The metal ball gets attached to your shoulder bones, and a socket is implanted at the top of your arm.
Causes of shoulder pain include:
Shoulder replacement surgery is usually done when you have severe pain in the shoulder area, which limits your ability to move your arm.
2. Poor result from a previous shoulder surgery
3. Rheumatoid arthritis
4. Badly broken bone in the arm near the shoulder
5. Badly damaged or torn tissues in the shoulder
6. Tumor in or around the shoulder
Rehabilitation Post surgery
A careful, well-planned rehabilitation program is critical to the success of a shoulder replacement. A sling will be given for comfort during the first four weeks. Most patients are able to perform simple activities such as eating, dressing and grooming within 2 weeks after surgery.
Here are some "do's and don'ts" for when you return home:
1 Don't use the arm to push yourself up in bed or from a chair because this requires forceful contraction of muscles.
2 Do follow the program of home exercises prescribed for you. You may need to do the exercises 4 to 5 times a day for a month or more.
3 Don't lift anything heavier than a glass of water for the first 6 weeks after surgery.
4 Don't participate in any repetitive heavy lifting after your shoulder replacement.
5 Do avoid placing your arm in any extreme position, such as straight out to the side or behind your body for the first 6 weeks after surgery.
Many thousands of patients have experienced an improved quality of life after shoulder joint replacement surgery. They experience less pain, improved motion and strength, and better function.