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How to Know if You Are a Good Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery

How to Know if You Are a Good Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery

If your shoulder symptoms make going about your daily life or sleeping difficult, no matter what remedies you try, you may be a candidate for shoulder replacement surgery.

More than 70,000 people in the United States undergo this procedure each year, with the goal of alleviating pain and stiffness to enjoy better mobility and quality of life. Like most treatments, shoulder replacement surgery isn’t ideal for everyone.

Board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon Dr. Stephen Fisher and the team at our offices in Cumming and Buford, Georgia, provide multiple procedures to improve function and relieve pain, including shoulder replacement surgery. 

Here’s a closer look at replacement surgery, including signs you may be a good candidate.

How shoulder replacement surgery works

Your shoulders consist of several bones: the clavicle (collarbone), humerus (upper arm bone), and scapula (shoulder blade). These bones operate using joints supported by ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Damage to any part of your shoulder can result in a range of bothersome symptoms that shoulder replacement may help. Such symptoms include:

For symptoms to be considered chronic, they typically need to carry on steadily or repeatedly flare up for at least 6 months

During shoulder replacement surgery, Dr. Fisher removes damaged bone areas and replaces them with implants made of metal or plastic to alleviate these symptoms. The prosthetic parts are meant to function just like a healthy shoulder.

Good candidates for shoulder replacement surgery

You may be a good candidate for shoulder replacement surgery if you have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or chronic symptoms from an injury, such as a fracture or torn rotator cuff.

Not intended as a first line of treatment, shoulder replacement may be ideal if your shoulder dysfunction hasn’t fully responded to conservative treatments – such as physical therapy (PT), rest, immobilization, ice therapy, and pain medication.

Factors that may make you ineligible for the procedure include nerve damage affecting your shoulder, brittle bones from osteoporosis, and an inability to follow pre- or post-surgery instructions. 

The best way to determine if shoulder replacement surgery might be right for you is through a comprehensive exam, during which we discuss your symptoms and medical history. 

To get started or learn more about the procedure, call our location nearest you or book an appointment through our website today.

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