Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery is a less common joint replacement than knee or hip surgeries, but the goals are the same: reduce pain and increase mobility and use. During the surgery, all or part of the shoulder joint can be replaced, depending on the patient’s diagnosis and condition.

There are several different kinds of shoulder joint prostheses available. Most are made with metal and plastic and are attached with a special type of bone cement or a “press fit” into healthy bone.

Various kinds of arthritis, shoulder injury and facture, regular wear and tear with age, and long-term effects of serious rotator cuff tears all may require shoulder replacement.

Who is eligible?

West Boca Medical Center considers a patient’s overall health before recommending any surgery.

In general, shoulder replacement is recommended in these circumstances: severe shoulder pain that interferes with everyday activities, moderate to severe pain while resting, loss of motion and/or weakness in the shoulder, and failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, or physical therapy. Limitations may be placed on patients with nerve damage, infections, or wound issues.

What are the risks?

In addition to the regular risks of any surgery, there are some additional risks to shoulder replacement surgery. These include infection, problems with the prosthesis (replacement parts), and nerve damage.

Your doctor will discuss the potential risks and benefits of elbow arthroscopy with you prior to surgery.

What is recovery like?

In general, patients wear a sling for two to four weeks after surgery. Your doctor will tell you when you can stop using the sling and when you can expect to drive. Physical therapy and rehabilitation begin soon after the surgery and are important parts of a full recovery. You will have exercises to do at the rehab site and exercises to do at home. Being diligent about this work will help you gain the best result from surgery.

How expensive is it?

Shoulder replacement surgery is usually covered by insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. If you and your West Boca Medical Center doctor believe surgery is a good choice for you, the Tenet team will give you an estimate of what your out of pocket expenses may be.

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