What to Expect from Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery is a procedure to relieve pain and improve mobility in the shoulder. The surgery involves removing damaged areas of the shoulder and replacing them with artificial parts. It’s documented that about 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery every year. Shoulder replacement surgery is recommended for individuals with severe shoulder pain who cannot find relief from more conservative treatments. Common conditions that may require shoulder replacement surgery include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, and a broken shoulder.

Preparing for Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Several weeks before shoulder replacement surgery, your doctor might have you complete a physical exam to determine you’re healthy enough for surgery. It may be recommended to stop taking certain medications that may cause too much bleeding during the surgery. Some medications you may need to stop taking before surgery include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Arthritis therapies
  • Blood thinners

The surgery typically takes about two hours. You may receive general anesthesia, rendering you unconscious during the procedure, or regional anesthesia, sedating you but keeping you awake. The surgeon replaces the damaged joint (the humeral head) with a metal ball. A plastic surface is placed on the shoulder socket (the glenoid).

Once the surgery is over, you will rest in a recovery room until you wake up. Once you’re awake, you are moved into a hospital room. Patients tend to remain in the hospital for two to three days after the surgery. Once they leave the hospital, patients may require assistance for about six weeks post-surgery.

Recovering after Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder Replacement surgery is a major operation, so you will likely experience pain during recovery. You may receive pain medication by injection right after your procedure. A day or so following the surgery, you may be given oral medication to ease the discomfort. Rehabilitation will start on the day of your surgery. Your healthcare staff will encourage you to move around as soon as possible. They will place your arm in a sling when you are discharged from the hospital. Your arm must remain in a sling for about two to four weeks.

It’s normal to experience less arm function for about a month after surgery. It’s crucial to be careful when lifting objects heavier than one pound. It’s also recommended to avoid activities that require pushing or pulling.

After about two to six weeks, people can generally begin to resume their daily activities, as long as they take it slow. People may be unable to drive within the first six weeks after surgery, especially if the surgery was done on their dominant arm. It takes about six months before people can expect to return to more vigorous activities.

Find Shoulder Pain Relief at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery

At Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we understand that each patient requires different medical needs. Whether you are suffering from shoulder, neck, or back pain, we aim to ensure you receive the best orthopedic and laser surgery treatment. Our surgeons are leaders in their fields dedicated to ensuring patients receive the best care possible. We pioneer minimally invasive treatments, giving our patients the chance to get back to their quality of life with less recovery time. Contact us at (855) 853-6542 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons today.