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Frequently asked questions about total shoulder replacement surgery

Shoulder replacement, also called shoulder arthroplasty, is a process of removing a portion of the damaged shoulder joints and being replaced with artificial implants. 

Shoulder replacement is of two different types, partial shoulder replacement and total shoulder replacement. Here, you will get answers to the common questions asked about total shoulder replacement surgery as explained by Dr Chandra Sekhar, Shoulder Replacement Surgeon in Hyderabad.

What is a total shoulder replacement?

The procedure of total shoulder replacement surgery involves removing both the arthritic ball of the humerus and damaged cartilage from the shoulder socket. A metal ball replaces the ball inside the humerus, which is firmly fixed. It is possible to use a metal or plastic liner in place of the socket. This creates a well-functioned smooth joint, and a pain-free joint is created.

Can a total shoulder replacement yield positive results?

The outcome of surgery varies, depending on the tissue health around the joints, the degree of arthritis present when surgery is performed, and the level of their activity when surgery is done. Additionally, following precautions suggested by your surgeon are essential to achieve the best results. Many patients who undergo surgery will perform everyday day-to-day tasks more efficiently, such as eating, drinking, and combing their hair.

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When should I have total shoulder replacement surgery?

The orthopaedic shoulder surgeon will determine whether surgery is appropriate for you based on your health history and diagnostic test results. If you are uncomfortable, stiff and disabled, your orthopaedic surgeon will suggest undergoing surgery if necessary. Often, waiting is not harmful if conservative and non-operative treatment options are helping to manage pain and discomfort.

Am I too old for a total replacement surgery?

If you are in good health and want to live an active lifestyle, you don’t worry about your age. Instead, a physician or specialist may assess your general health and also perform some extra diagnostic tests if needed before surgery.

What is the expected lifespan of my new shoulder?

The life span of shoulder implants varies from patient to patient based on age, weight, level of activities, and other medical conditions. In addition, total joint implants are devices that may fail over time due to wear & tear effects. So it is essential to follow the suggestion of your surgeon after surgery to improve the lifespan of the implants.

Should I exercise before my shoulder surgery?

Yes, it is recommended to consult the shoulder surgeon and therapist to discuss the necessary exercises to strengthen your shoulder joint before undergoing surgery. 

How long should I stay in the hospital after surgery?

Most shoulder replacement patients tend to stay in the hospital for a day or two after their surgery. As soon as you have met your therapy goals and feel comfortable and safe, you will be discharged.

How long will the total shoulder replacement surgery take?

Approximately two to three hours are required for the surgery. The operating room staff uses some of this time to prepare you for surgery. 

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Will the surgery be painful?

Yes, you may feel minor discomfort and pain after surgery. However, it can be managed with pain medication. Some patients might require strong pain medication for one or two days after surgery and regular oral pain medication. At the same time, some patients can manage pain from day one itself with regular painkillers.

When can I resume working again?

You can return to work as soon as you have recovered. You may be able to do your daily activities after your first post-operative follow-up visit, i.e. after 10 to 14 days. The surgeon will let you know when you can return to other works like driving, playing etc., based on the pace of your recovery. A physical therapist can help you to protect your joint and strengthen your joint by giving specific recommendations.

To know more about total replacement surgery or having any other shoulder problems contact Dr Chandra Sekhar, one of the best shoulder surgeons in Hyderabad. Call +9199595 88389 to book an appointment.

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