You might not know it, but knees and hips aren’t the only joints that suffer from arthritis and may need to be replaced. . .
Total shoulder replacement (TSR) is a commonly performed procedure that increases range of motion and provides pain relief for patients who suffer with severe shoulder arthritis. The procedure is performed around 50,000 times a year and, like knee and hip replacements, drastically improves patients’ quality of life. Here’s everything you need to know:
Related Shoulder Anatomy
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint composed of the head of the humerus and the glenoid of the scapula. A healthy joint is one in which the two bones work in harmony to promote smooth, pain-free movement.
Illustration 1– The shoulder joint
How Arthritis Affects the Shoulder Joint
When arthritis affects the joint, the head of the humerus rubs, bone-on-bone, against the glenoid and/or acromion of the scapula. This causes pain and severely decreases mobility. Once severe arthritis develops, it’s very hard for patients to perform day-to-day functions that require any upper body movement, such as lifting objects or raising their arm above their head.
Total Shoulder Replacement (TSR)
Similar to a hip or knee replacement, a total shoulder replacement is a procedure that replaces the arthritic head of the humerus and glenoid with metal and plastic implants that restore the joint. The procedure usually takes a little more than an hour.
Illustration 2– A total shoulder replacement restores the joint
Total Shoulder Replacement Recovery
Recovery consists of physical therapy as prescribed by the operating surgeon and the use of a sling for approximately 4 weeks after surgery.
Following surgery and physical therapy, patients can expect an increase in shoulder mobility and a significant decrease in pain. They can also expect to be able to perform most day-to-day activities that require the use of the shoulder and even return to playing sports with that arm.
Contacting an Orthopedic Specialist
Shoulder pain can be debilitating – but you shouldn’t have to suffer. To find out if total shoulder replacement surgery is a treatment option that can help you, please contact our offices in Duxbury or Sandwich, MA to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists.