Total Shoulder Replacement
What is Total Shoulder Replacement?
The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint in which the upper end of the upper arm bone fits into the socket of the shoulder scapula with cartilage present between the bones allowing smooth joint movement. Total shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure in which a painful or poorly functioning shoulder joint is replaced with prosthetic components to help reduce symptoms and restore mobility in the joint.
Parts of the Shoulder Prosthesis
The prosthetic shoulder is a mechanical device that is designed to replace the patient’s shoulder joint. It is made of the following components:
- Glenoid component: This component replaces the shoulder socket. It is shaped like a cup and is made of metal shell with a polyethylene inner liner.
- Humeral components: These components replace the top end of the upper arm bone. They consists of a stem and ball, which are made of metal.
When should Total Shoulder Replacement be considered?
A shoulder that is painful as a result of osteoarthritis or severe fracture can severely affect your ability to lead an active life. Total shoulder replacement should be considered when non-surgical treatments do not provide adequate pain relief and your symptoms interfere with your ability to perform routine activities.
Preparing for Total Shoulder Replacement
In preparation for the surgery, you may be recommended to:
- Undergo tests to ensure you are fit for the surgery
- Do special exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joint
- Inform Dr. Laxman of your current medications and allergies
- Temporarily stop medications such as blood thinners before surgery
- Avoid smoking and alcohol as it slows down healing
- Stop eating and drinking 8 to 12 hours prior to the surgery
What to expect during Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
The operation is performed under general or local anaesthesia. A 4 to 6 inch incision is made over the shoulder joint. The pectoral and deltoid muscles are separated to access the joint. The blood vessels and nerves are protected with special retractors. The degenerated portions of the shoulder joint are removed. The bone surfaces are prepared to receive the prosthesis. The prosthetic components are placed in. Stability and mobility of the joint is assessed. The incision is then closed in layers with sutures. A bandage is then applied and you will be transferred to the recovery room.
Recovery after Total Shoulder Replacement
Following surgery your arm will be immobilised in a sling. There may be temporary swelling and pain for which medication will be prescribed. The sling should only be removed when doing physical therapy exercises. It may take 4-6 weeks for active use of the shoulder and about 2 months for pain-free activity.