shoulder replacement surgery

What to expect during a shoulder replacement surgery


Every year, over 53,000 Americans undergo shoulder replacement surgery. During shoulder replacement surgery, deteriorated shoulder tissue is removed and replaced with prosthetic components. The operation is carried out to enhance mobility and decrease pain. You may require a shoulder replacement if you have severe arthritis or a shoulder joint fracture. Discover more about the procedure and how you will recuperate from this operation.

Who is eligible for the surgery?

People who had successful outcomes from shoulder surgery frequently have:

  • Shoulder numbness or lack of range of motion
  • Significant shoulder ache that interferes with daily lives
  • Discomfort during sleeping or resting
  • After using more conventional treatments such as prescription drugs, injections, or physical therapy, there has been little to no change.

Preparing for the surgery

Your doctor might advise a thorough physical examination a few weeks before your treatment to see if you’re in good health for surgery. You may need to stop taking several medications, including NSAIDs and medicines for arthritis, as they can result in excessive bleeding. You’ll also be advised to cease taking blood thinners by your doctor. Wearing loose-fitting clothing and a button-up shirt is recommended on the day of your surgery.

During the surgery

Typically, a total shoulder replacement surgery lasts two hours. Depending on the type of anesthesia you receive. If general anesthesia is administered, you may be unconscious during the procedure. On the other hand, you may be awake but sedated with a regional anesthetic.

A metal ball replaces the humeral head, or “ball,” of the shoulder’s injured joint during surgery. Additionally, they attach a plastic surface to the glenoid, the shoulder’s “socket.”

A partial shoulder replacement can occasionally be done; only the joint’s ball needs replacement in this situation. A nurse will transfer you to a recovery room for several hours following your operation and then a hospital room when you are fully awake.

After the surgery

Since shoulder replacement surgery is an extensive procedure, you’ll probably feel discomfort while recovering. An injection of painkillers may be administered to you immediately following your surgery. Your doctor or nurse will administer oral pain relievers a day after the procedure to help you feel better.

In most cases, rehabilitation begins on the same day as surgery. Your medical team will do everything to get you moving as soon as possible. You’ll receive your hospital discharge after a few days. Your arm should be in a sling when you go, which you will wear for roughly 2 to 4 weeks.

After surgery, you should anticipate having less arm function for roughly a month. You’ll need to exercise caution when lifting any heavy items, and you also have to avoid pulling or pushing things around.It’s crucial to carry out all the workouts at home that your doctor advises. Your shoulder will get stronger with practice. You shouldn’t anticipate returning to more strenuous swimming or golf activities for around six months.

The takeaway

A total shoulder replacement operation is a safe and reliable choice for assisting patients with shoulder pain to return to regular activities. If you believe you could be a candidate for shoulder replacement surgery, speak with your doctor.

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