Is your shoulder a hindrance in your everyday activities? Do you suffer from severe arthritis or an injury that makes your shoulder virtually useless and painful? If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be the ideal candidate for a shoulder replacement. Shoulder replacement has high success rates with few complications, although some have been reported. Total shoulder replacement can alleviate sever pain as well as provided full range of motion to a joint that has deteriorated or hurts too much to move. There are a few different methods of should replacements, but each offers a chance to regain use of your arm and shoulder with less pain. Be aware that complications can arise and that not all replacements are successful and many suffer injuries so serious they file a shoulder replacement lawsuit seeking justice.
Standard total shoulder replacement – This is the most common and heavily used method in surgery. The shoulder has a ball-in-socket type of joint. Cartilage is the main buffer between the humerus and the shoulder blade where they connect, and often times shoulder replacement candidates have little to no cartilage which results in a bone-on-bone experience which is painful. In the standard total shoulder replacement, the top of the “ball”, or humerus, is replaced with a metal ball. The socket of the shoulder area where the ball rests is replaced with a strong plastic, which acts as the new cartilage. Studies as well as results have shown that the combination of metal and plastic makes for fluid movements and durability.
Reverse total shoulder replacement – This term can be confusing, but the “reversing” of the new replacement is beneficial to specific individuals. This type of surgery benefits patients who have extreme rotator cuff damage or issues or crippling arthritis. In reverse shoulder replacements, the ball and the socket are switched. Instead of the metal ball being placed in the socket, the metal ball is attached to the socket. In a standard replacement, the metal ball would be attached to the top of the humerus whereas in a reverse placement it is attached to the shoulder area. This also helps people who have a detached cuff because it will use different muscles. This is also proven to be a successful surgery for those that have already had a shoulder replacement and had complications or that was unsuccessful.
These surgeries usually require a night or two in the hospital afterwards, but most people can return home after that. Recovery and rehabilitation can take months, especially since these need the proper amount of time to heal in order for the replacement to be successful. A doctor can advise which of these replacement surgeries would be best for the patient if they are eligible for a total shoulder replacement.
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