An orthopedic surgeon examining a male patient’s shoulder checks if he needs a total shoulder replacement.If you are a candidate for total shoulder replacement surgery, you may have concerns and questions about the procedure, the best surgical options available in your area, and the recovery process. EmergeOrtho-Blue Ridge Region is here to help.

Our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained shoulder surgeons have performed hundreds of total shoulder replacements. We have the experience, in-depth training, and state-of-the-art surgical tools and facilities to guide you through the surgical process and recovery, and achieve the best treatment outcomes for your personal condition. Here is information about what the surgery entails, the pre-operative qualifications and factors to consider, what to expect during the procedure, and the recovery process.

What Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

A total shoulder replacement surgery replaces the damaged or diseased parts of the shoulder joint with artificial components. This surgery can alleviate chronic pain, improve mobility, and enhance the overall quality of life for individuals suffering from severe shoulder conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or traumatic injuries. By replacing the damaged joint surfaces with high-quality implants, your shoulder doctor can help restore the natural function of your shoulder, allowing you to regain strength, flexibility, and independence.

Shoulder Conditions a Total Replacement Can Address

There are a number of shoulder issues that we treat successfully with a total shoulder replacement, including:

  • Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease)

Osteoarthritis is an age-related wear-and-tear type of arthritis, usually occurring in people 50 years and older. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the shoulder bones softens and wears away. The bones then rub against one another, causing the joint to become stiff and painful.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is a disease in which the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. This chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness.

  • Post-traumatic Arthritis

Following a serious shoulder injury, fractures of the shoulder bones or tears of the shoulder tendons or ligaments may damage the articular cartilage over time. This can cause shoulder pain and limit shoulder function.

  • Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy

A patient with a very large, long-standing rotator cuff tear may develop rotator cuff tear arthropathy. The changes in the shoulder joint due to the rotator cuff tear may lead to arthritis and destruction of the joint cartilage.

  • Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis)

Avascular necrosis, or osteonecrosis, is a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the shoulder bone is disrupted, causing destruction of the shoulder joint and may lead to arthritis. Chronic steroid use, deep sea diving, and a severe fracture of the shoulder are some of the risk factors for avascular necrosis.

  • Severe Fractures

A severe fracture of the shoulder is another common reason people have total shoulder replacements. When the head of the upper arm bone is shattered, it may be very difficult for a doctor to put the pieces of bone back in place. In addition, the blood supply to the bone pieces can be interrupted.

Pre-Operative Qualifications and Factors To Consider

Before undergoing a total shoulder replacement, it is essential to meet certain pre-operative qualifications. Our orthopedic surgeons will evaluate your overall health and medical history, and perform diagnostic tests to determine if you are a suitable candidate. Factors such as the extent of joint damage, pain severity, and previous treatment outcomes will also be considered. Our experienced team is renowned for their comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic process, only recommending surgery for patients who will experience the maximum benefit from the procedure.

Pre-Operative Digital Scanning Technology

Your doctor may order a special CT or MRI of your shoulder before surgery. This 3-D digital imaging has become the preferred method for pre-surgery planning. It allows the surgeon to plan out your surgery in advance, select implant sizes, and match the implant to your specific anatomy. These technologies decrease operative time, minimize the risk of surgical error, increase surgical accuracy, enable more predictable results and reduce surgical complications – all of which improves patient satisfaction and outcomes.

What To Expect During Surgery

During a total shoulder replacement, you will be under general anesthesia, ensuring your comfort throughout. Our orthopedic shoulder surgeon will make an incision to access the shoulder joint and carefully remove the damaged bone and cartilage. The implant will then be precisely positioned to recreate the natural anatomy of the shoulder joint. We utilize only the most advanced surgical techniques, including minimally invasive approaches whenever possible. This approach minimizes trauma to surrounding tissues, reduces post-operative pain, and speeds up recovery.

Recovery Process and the Advantages of Our Program

After your surgery, a personalized rehabilitation program will be designed to help you regain strength, range of motion, and function. Our experienced physical therapists will guide you through exercises and techniques tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a successful recovery. What sets us apart is our dedication to patient-centered care, utilizing the most advanced techniques, equipment, and technologies. Our comprehensive approach, along with the emphasis on individualized treatment plans, maximizes the potential for your swift and successful recovery.

EmergeOrtho-Blue Ridge Region is widely recognized as having the premier surgeons for total shoulder replacements. Our commitment to quality care, specialized expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and technologies, and patient-focused approach makes us a top choice for many patients in the area. If you are considering total shoulder replacement surgery and have questions about the procedure, your eligibility, and the recovery process, request an appointment with one of our certified shoulder surgeons.

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