Severe shoulder conditions with persistent symptoms that have not responded to conservative treatments may benefit from shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder replacement surgery replaces the damaged joint with an artificial one that allows patients to enjoy painless motion and resume their regular activities.
Shoulder replacement surgery is often performed to treat conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rotator cuff tears
Patients with severe cases of these conditions often experience pain, limited range of motion, stiffness, swelling and more. These symptoms can be effectively relieved by replacing the damaged bone and cartilage with a metal and plastic implant. Similar to the hip, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that can be significantly improved with joint replacement surgery.
Shoulder replacement surgery takes about two hours to perform and is usually done under general anesthesia. It may be performed arthroscopically or through a traditional open procedure that requires a four to six inch incision.
Patients will be required to stay in the hospital for one to three days and will need physical therapy in order to restore function to the joint after surgery. Most patients are able to return to all of their regular activities after two to three months.
While shoulder replacement surgery has been performed successfully for many years, there are certain risks involved with any surgical procedure. Some of these risks may include infection, blood clots, nerve injury, instability and loosening of the implant. These risks are considered rare, and most patients experience symptom relief and improved range of motion after this procedure.