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Risks of delaying shoulder replacement surgery

Most people avoid painful situations, especially if it involves health illnesses. So people procrastinate to the point that the pain becomes unbearable. More often, this nature is exhibited during surgical solutions to a medical problem. Most people put off surgeries due to reasons such as pain, time-consuming, and cost. In most cases, avoiding surgery worsens the effects of the disease and can cause difficulties in day-to-day living. The shoulder is an active part of the body, and if the mobility is getting restricted, doctors may advise surgery. Due to any of the reasons mentioned above, one might delay surgery, but please know that it comes with a price.

If you are scared of surgery, you are not alone and do not stop yourself from getting checked. One should get regular check-ups to know the risks and take professional help when needed. Regular follow-ups will give patients with severe shoulder arthritis an option to weigh the associated benefits and risks.

What are the risks of delaying shoulder replacement surgery?

  • Deterioration Of The shoulder joint: Prolonging shoulder replacement will cause further wear and tear of the joint and impairs its function badly. If the shoulder becomes deformed, you will need a hard-to-find specialized implant, and the joint surgery will take up much more of your time.
  • Shoulder Stiffness: The shoulder deterioration will decrease productivity if replacement is not done in time. Due to the decrease in the body’s movement, the shoulder muscle and ligaments may contract, which causes joint stiffness. The possibility of motion after surgery will depend on the patient’s mobility before the procedure.
  • Compensatory Problems: In order to relieve the pain, a person relies on other body parts. This action might result in complications outside the joint, such as back pains and pain in the other shoulder.
  • General Health Problems: Avoiding shoulder replacement surgery will worsen disability levels and leads to a sedentary lifestyle. One also gets used to just sitting down without any exercise, leading to weight gain. If a person has mobility issues, it has a domino effect on other aspects of their general health.
  • Some people postpone surgery since they do not want to outlive their original implant and have to undergo a second surgery. The longer you delay the surgery. However, it may further damage the natural shoulder joint. In the future, even if you want to get surgery, it will be more complicated and will take longer to heal.
  • Due to the pain caused, patients will not use the shoulder joint leading to muscle atrophy, making post-surgical rehabilitation more challenging. 
  • If the patients do not use the shoulder joint, it causes excessive glenoid bone loss, complicating the surgeon’s ability to resurface the socket side of the joint.

How to increase patient confidence to undergo shoulder replacement surgery?

The patient should talk to a shoulder surgeon and know in detail about the individual risks associated with undergoing surgery. One can also consult more than one surgeon before making a decision which is perfectly fine.

How is a shoulder replacement different from other Joint Replacements?

After joint and hip replacements, shoulder replacements are most common. Shoulder replacements could be a total or partial replacement or reversal surgery. As compared to hip and joint replacements, shoulder replacements are different since the shoulder is not a weight-bearing joint and because of the shoulder’s unique anatomy.

How should one prepare for shoulder replacement surgery?

The shoulder joint has a small, shallow socket known as the glenoid. The glenoid is slightly concave in normal conditions and measures approximately 1 inch x 1.7 inches. The socket must be healthy enough to receive a prosthetic. The surgeon will get an X-ray and possibly a CT scan to evaluate the health of the glenoid bone. If the glenoid has severe wear and tear, it may not be eligible for shoulder replacement of the socket side of the joint and may have to undergo shoulder replacement with a bone graft.

Dr Chandra Sekhar B has years of experience in handling all types of shoulder replacements. We at Hyderabad Shoulder Clinic assess every patient individually. Depending on their shoulder anatomy Dr Chandra Sekhar B makes a judgment call on the timing and the type of surgery. We are with you throughout the recovery process. Any rehabilitation necessary after the surgery will also be personally monitored. Please visit our website or contact us at +919959588389,

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