What To Expect for Shoulder Treatment?

What is a shoulder replacement?

The shoulder replacement is a process that tries to eliminate the source of pain and dysfunction by replacing damaged parts of your shoulder joint with artificial components known as prostheses.

Common reasons for getting a shoulder replacement surgery are osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, or vascular necrosis. The process is meant to soothe your pain, build your strength, increase your ability to move, and use your shoulder and your arm. 

What to expect for shoulder treatment?

Your surgeon will have a word with you regarding what kind of shoulder replacement you might require. There are 4 main options given to you:

  • Hemiarthroplasty:

In this process, only stem and ball are replaced. The stem is linked to the ball and is articulated with the natural socket you have. 

  • Resurfacing hemiarthroplasty:

This includes replacing the joint surface of your humeral head with a cap-like prosthesis without a single stem. 

  • Anatomic total shoulder replacement:

The arthritic joint is also replaced with a highly polished metal ball linked to the stem over the humeral side and the plastic cup over the glenoid socket. 

  • Reverse total shoulder replacement:

In this total reverse shoulder, replacement the joint is reversed, meaning the metal ball is placed where the glenoid socket was, and the plastic cup is linked to the stem and is moved over the upper arm bone. 

What will happen on the first appointment of the shoulder replacement recovery?

Your consultant visit and an initial appointment with an orthopedic surgeon may include a series of x rays, physical examination, and a complete review of your medical history:

  • The physical exam may help the surgeon determine a source of pain and also reduce in range of motion
  • X-rays show the bone spurs, the damaged joint surfaces, and narrowed joint spaces. If there were a certain injury or a trauma to your shoulder, the x-ray would help your healthcare provider evaluate the fracture may be fixed or if the shoulder needs to be replaced. 
  • Detailing the history of your shoulder issues includes describing to the surgeon the amount of pain with activity, loss of motion and pain on rest, limited use, previous treatments including medications, physical therapy, and previous surgeries. 

Reverse shoulder replacement is done with a scheduled surgery process. Knowing the exact date of your operation, you may have enough time to prepare and then plan for special help you may need after being discharged from the hospital. It is very important to get you a partner who would help you with your exercises at home after being discharged.

Your partner must come with you to the physical therapy at least one or two times in your hospital stay. Your shoulder replacement may be done being an outpatient process. Still, over average, you will be staying a single night in the hospital after surgery to ensure that your pain is controlled and you are medically stable before elevating the hospital. 

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