Your Shoulder2024-01-29T13:40:26-05:00

Your Shoulder

The shoulder is one of the most amazing joints in the human body. It can perform 180-degrees motions on three different planes. Unfortunately, the more capabilities of a joint, the more that can go wrong. This creates a need for a number of specialized treatments.

An injury to the shoulder or elbow can make everyday tasks such as throwing, lifting and carrying objects difficult, painful and near impossible. Left untreated, damage can become worse and lead to long-term loss of function.

Shoulder Conditions

  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Muscle Imbalance in the Shoulder
  • Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder
  • SLAP Tear (Super Labrum from Anterior to Posterior Tear)
  • Thoracic Oulet Syndrome
  • Triceps Tendonitis
  • Shoulder Instability
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Shoulder Impingement
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis and Bursitis
  • Stress Fractures
  • Thermal Capsular Shrinkage
  • Biceps Tendon Tear at the Shoulder
  • Shoulder Pain and Common Shoulder Problems
  • Shoulder Impingement/Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Shoulder Procedures

  • Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Arthroscopic Shoulder Stabilization Procedure
  • Bankart Repair
  • Impingement Syndrome Surgery
  • Operative Fracture Treatment
  • Shoulder Replacement
  • Tendon and Ligament Repairs and Reconstruction

Shoulder FAQs

Also called arthroplasty, shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged or diseased joint is removed and replaced by an artificial shoulder implant (prosthesis) that is designed move like a normal, healthy joint.
This is a very personal decision that only you can make, with the help of an orthopaedic surgeon’s evaluation of your pain and its effect on your daily life.
When other treatment options no longer provide relief, joint replacement may be recommended — not only to relieve pain but also to prevent the disability it can cause. For example, experiencing joint pain day after day without relief can lead to “staying off” the joint — which often weakens the muscles around it so it becomes even more difficult to move. Your orthopaedic surgeon will tell you whether you might benefit from joint replacement and explain the reasons why it may, or may not, be right for you at this time.
Certain parts of your shoulder joint are removed and replaced with a plastic or metal device called a prosthesis, or artificial joint. The artificial shoulder joint can have either two or three parts, depending on the type of surgery required.

  • The humeral component (metal) is implanted in the humerus, or upper arm bone.
  • The humeral head component (metal) replaces the humeral head at the top of the humerus.
  • The glenoid component (plastic) replaces the surface of the glenoid socket, or shoulder socket.
You’ll need routine blood tests, urinalysis, a physical examination, and, if you’re over 50 or your doctor thinks they’re advisable, an electrocardiogram (EKG) and chest X-ray as well. Your own doctor or the hospital where you’ll have the surgery may perform these preoperative tests and evaluations. You may also be asked to donate blood preoperatively or to have a designated donor — usually a family member or relative — do this. Your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon will specify exactly which tests and evaluations you will need and when you should have them. He or she may also recommend that you take an iron supplement before your surgery, and you may be asked to stop taking certain medications — for example, aspirin and other medications that thin the blood. Your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon will also specify how these and any other medication concerns apply to you. Finally, your doctor may advise you not to eat or drink after midnight on the day your surgery takes place.
Following joint replacement surgery, hospital stays vary depending on insurance coverage and individual medical status — a total of four days (including the day of the surgery) is typical. The surgery may take from two to three hours, and you’ll spend about the same amount of time in the recovery room.

On the first day after your surgery, you may be able to get out of bed and begin physical and occupational therapy, typically several brief sessions a day. Usually a case manager is assigned to work with you as you move through your rehabilitation routines. When you’re ready for discharge, the decision will be made concerning whether you can best continue to recover at home or in another facility where you may receive specialized rehabilitative help. If you do go to another facility, the goal will be to return you to your home, able to move about with a safe level of independence, within three to five days.*

You shouldn’t be surprised if you feel a little shaky and uncertain for the first day or two after you’re discharged. But soon you will likely get a routine going and gain confidence in your new joint — the start of a new life with less pain. (As with any surgery, you’ll probably take pain medication for a few days while you are healing.) You’ll also be in touch with your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon, as well as your case manager, so take advantage of opportunities to ask questions or discuss concerns as well as to report on your progress*

* Individuals results vary.

This is a decision that only you and your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon can make. However, there are some general guidelines that your doctor may give you:

  • You should have no restrictions on leaving your home as long as your safety and comfort are assured.
  • Don’t tire yourself out — a good balance of exercise, rest, and relaxation is best for helping your body heal and gain strength.

When to resume driving a car, going to work, and/or participating in sports activities are all highly individualized decisions. Be sure to follow your doctor’s or orthopaedic surgeon’s advice and recommendations.

When fully recovered, most people with artificial shoulders can return to work and normal daily activities without any problems. Keep in mind, however, that certain activities could affect how long your artificial shoulder will last and how well it will perform. A good rule of thumb is that your physical activities should not cause pain, including pain felt later. You should also not jar your joint or push it to its most extreme range of motion. If, for example, you are considering doing any of the following activities, you should discuss them first with your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon:

  • Any activity involving lifting or pushing heavy objects
  • Any activity that places excessive stress on your shoulder joint
  • Hammering and other forceful arm/shoulder movements
  • Boxing and other arm/shoulder impact sports

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