Shoulder pain will likely become disruptive to your daily life, especially if it lasts for a long time. Mild aches may go away in a couple of days without intervention. However, chronic pain may require getting shoulder replacement surgery. A patient may also have a shoulder condition that requires replacement surgery.
Here are indicators that a patient may be a good candidate for shoulder replacement surgery.
If You Have Specific Symptoms or Conditions
Patients who experience stiffness, numbness, and pain in their shoulders may have these symptoms due to their jobs, particularly if they perform hard physical labor. However, these sensations may also indicate they have an underlying medical condition, such as the ones listed below. Doctors can confirm this through a variety of diagnostic tests.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects older adults. As people age, their joints break down from wear and tear, sometimes more quickly if they live active lifestyles. This condition occurs when cartilage wears out, resulting in bones rubbing against each other. Eventually, this condition causes inflammation and pain.
An autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes the damage and inflammation of joint cartilage, leading to pain and inflammation in joints.
Arthritis isn’t always the result of disease or wear and tear. You can also develop it after physical trauma. Some examples include a car accident or a sports injury, and it may take months to heal.
Osteonecrosis is the death of bone tissue caused by a lack of blood flow in the area. The collapse of the bone may cause complications and affect nearby tissues in the shoulder.
Previously failed shoulder replacement
A previous shoulder replacement surgery may heal incorrectly. This can result in improper healing, misalignment of the joint, and other complications. A patient may need to return for another surgery to correct this problem.
Severe untreated fractures
Improperly healed fractures can cause sharp and chronic pain, as well as mobility issues.
When Conservative Interventions Don’t Work
Conservative methods are usually the first-line interventions given by physicians to patients. Nonsurgical interventions may include:
- Lifestyle changes: Certain activities can contribute to shoulder pain.
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections can help relieve pain.
- Physical therapy: Frequent sessions may help alleviate pain and improve the state of a patient’s shoulder.
While these methods are enough for minor shoulder pain, some conditions are too severe to be effectively treated with conservative treatments.
If You Are a Non-Smoker
Smoking weakens a person’s immune system, slowing down healing. Smoking also decreases oxygen levels and significantly increases the risk for heart and lung-related problems. Furthermore, it makes it more difficult to absorb nutrients.
Recent studies show that younger patients who are active smokers suffer from shoulder tears more often than their counterparts. Studies also show that smokers have a higher rate of surgical failure incidence than those who do not smoke, which is why non-smoker patients are good candidates for the procedure.
If You Are Healthy
Before undergoing surgery, an orthopedic doctor makes sure that a patient’s rotator cuff is repairable. Patients with completely torn and irreparable rotator cuffs are not ideal candidates for this procedure. The doctor will also assess a patient’s nerve and deltoid health to ensure the patient can regain full function and sensation in their shoulder post-surgery. The deltoid is the muscle that connects the arm to the trunk of the body.
A patient without other underlying conditions has a better chance of recovering from surgery. If a patient’s rotator cuff, nerves, and deltoids are healthy, it’s likely that the shoulder replacement will be successful.
If You Are Willing to do Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is almost a necessity after undergoing major surgeries. It decreases the risks of complications and helps patients ease back into their daily lives. Physical therapy helps patients regain their flexibility and mobility.
The duration of a patient’s physical therapy depends on their therapist’s assessment. Minor shoulder surgeries require shorter therapy compared to more complicated ones. Patients are encouraged to regularly attend their therapy sessions to ensure proper healing.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery Clinics in Massachusetts
There are many reasons to get shoulder replacement surgery, such as degenerative diseases or severe injury. However, shoulder replacement surgery is a significant operation, and not everyone is suitable to undergo it.
If you’re looking for a place to get your shoulder health assessed, look no further than Advanced Orthopedics New England. Our highly-trained and board-certified specialists offer their highest level of expertise. We can help you with your pain, from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation.
If you wish to know more about us and our services, you can contact us online, or call us at (860) 728-6740. You can also secure an appointment by using our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!