How to Know if You’re a Good Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery

How to Know if You’re a Good Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery

If your shoulder pain is severe enough to cause disability, you may be considering options to repair the damage.

At Ortho 1 Medical Group, our orthopedic specialists offer comprehensive evaluations of your shoulder joint to see if you qualify for shoulder replacement surgery.

Our surgeons Norman Kane, MD, Kristopher Downing, MD, and James Andry, MD, have extensive experience in minimally invasive and traditional shoulder surgeries that can restore your mobility and keep you pain-free in the long term.

Understanding shoulder replacement surgery

Total shoulder replacement surgery focuses on replacing the components of your natural shoulder joint with an artificial joint.

The artificial joint works like your natural shoulder joint, a ball-and-socket type of joint, made up of your upper arm bone (humerus). This bone fits into your shoulder blade (scapula) to give you a wide range of motion in your arm. The head of the humerus swivels, so that you reach over your head to brush your hair or throw a baseball underhand.

When any part of your shoulder joint is damaged by injury or disease, you can lose a significant amount of function and range of motion in your shoulder. Over time, your shoulder pain can become severe and ultimately lead to a disability.

Depending on the cause of your shoulder pain and dysfunction, you may qualify for partial or total shoulder replacement surgery.

Candidates for shoulder replacement surgery

Our orthopedic surgeons can determine if shoulder replacement surgery is right for you during a physical exam and a review of your medical history. We also use on-site diagnostic imaging technology to evaluate the health of your shoulder joint.

We might consider you a candidate for shoulder replacement surgery if you have chronic shoulder pain that lowers your quality of life and causes a disability. The pain and joint dysfunction may be caused by:

You may also benefit from shoulder replacement surgery if you’ve previously had a surgery to repair a damaged shoulder joint, but it failed.

In addition to performing shoulder surgery, our team also coordinates your after-care to ensure you recover completely and regain full use of your shoulder joint.

Who might not qualify for shoulder replacement surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery is typically a last-resort option for shoulder pain when other therapies don’t work.

You may first need to take medications to relieve inflammation and reduce pain. We might also recommend physical therapy and at-home exercises to see if they help manage your persistent shoulder pain.

Certain underlying conditions may not qualify you for shoulder replacement surgery. If you have an active infection in your shoulder joint, you may not be able to undergo surgery.

We may also consider other treatments for your shoulder pain if you have a progressive disease that affects your nervous system or if you’re unable to tolerate anesthesia.

To find out if shoulder replacement surgery is a treatment option for you, call the office of Ortho 1 Medical Group nearest to you today, or book a consultation online. 

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