When the cartilage is damaged due to conditions like osteoarthritis, the bones rub against each other, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness. Total shoulder replacement surgery is recommended when other treatment options like medications, injections, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes have not relieved the symptoms.
This surgery involves removing the damaged parts of the joint and replacing them with artificial prostheses. It may be recommended for severe shoulder pain that restricts daily activities, moderate to severe pain during rest, weakness, and loss of motion.
Before the surgery, your surgeon evaluates your condition through a medical history review, physical examination, and imaging tests like X-rays or MRI. The surgery can be performed as open surgery or minimally invasive surgery, using arthroscopy.
During the surgery, the damaged humeral head is removed, and a metal ball is fixed into the humerus. The plastic glenoid component is fixed in the shoulder bone, and the joint capsule is stitched, followed by wound closure.
Post-operative care involves pain management, antibiotics to prevent infection, and physical therapy to regain shoulder strength and mobility. The recovery period may take two to six weeks, after which gentle daily activities can be resumed.
As with any surgery, there are potential risks involved, such as anesthetic complications, infection, dislocation, damage to blood vessels, nerves or muscles, failure to relieve pain, pulmonary embolism, and prosthetic wear and tear.