Shoulder replacement surgery is a successful treatment for reducing shoulder joint pain and stiffness. This surgery mainly focus to treat arthritis condition in shoulder joint. In this surgery, the damaged or torn shoulder is cleared out and replaced with a prosthesis. Although this condition can be controlled to an extent through non-surgical methods but often surgery becomes necessary.
Prior to surgery, a close examination of patient and evaluation of medical history is done. This helps in selecting the best possible method for the shoulder treatment. During surgery, proper anesthesia is given to the patient. It may be either general anesthesia or regional anesthesia. The duration for surgery is usually 1-3 hours. Initially, a cut is made over the shoulder joint. This path guides the specialized surgical instruments to the affected location. These materials help to remove the top portion of the upper arm bone. The remaining space is replaced with an artificial stem. The head of this artificial stem is rounded with a metal. In addition, a smooth plastic lining is used to replace the glenoid. A new special cement is used to support the new metal head and stem. A tube is then attached to this area. It is used to drain out the excessive fluid. The cut is then closed with proper sutures or stitches. The whole of the operated area is then protected with dressing or bandage.
After surgery, the patient may be required to stay in the hospital for 1-3 days. Medications will help to ease any discomfort. The arm is usually kept in a sling for 2-6 weeks. This avoids movement of arm and immobilizes it. Healthy food habits should be included in the diet. In the meantime, physical therapies will be used to strengthen the muscles. These therapies involve simple exercises which reduces shoulder stiffness and pain. The shoulder mainly recovers to normal position in 4-6 months.
The risks comprised in total shoulder replacement surgery are:
- Reaction to prosthesis
- Nerve and blood vessel damage
- Loosened implants
- Artificial joint dislocation