Total shoulder replacement is a successful technique to relieve severe joint pain and dysfunction in a damaged shoulder joint. Shoulder replacement is most often a solution for severe arthritis. The procedure replaces the ends of the bones in the damaged shoulder join. Surgeons replace the ends of the damaged upper arm bone and the shoulder bone with metal or plastic.
Surgeons typically recommend non-surgical treatments before considering total shoulder replacement. Conservative options such as medication, reduced activity and physical therapy can be effective treatments. Surgeons recommend total shoulder replacement when conservative treatments are ineffective at controlling shoulder pain. Total shoulder replacement is a highly technical procedure which should be performed by an experienced surgical team.
The shoulder is a wonderfully complex joint. It has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. – Jimmy Conway, M.D.
- Severe shoulder pain that interferes with everyday activity
- Moderate pain while resting
- Loss of motion in shoulder
- Failure to improve with non-surgical treatment
A well-planned rehabilitation program is critical to the long-term success of a total shoulder replacement. Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process. Patients who chose total shoulder replacement should expect an improved quality of life, less pain and improved motion and strength. With the latest technique and equipment, shoulder replacements will last 20 or 30 years.
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