Shoulder Replacement Surgery
When arthritis gets to be so bad that none of the "non-operative" or "conservative" measures work to relieve the pain, your surgeon may recommend shoulder replacement surgery.
This can either be a "hemiarthroplasty" where only the humerus is replaced, or a "total shoulder arthroplasty" where both the humerus and glenoid (socket) are replaced.
While surgery can relieve pain, it may not necessarily improve your motion. Also, keep in mind, that any mechanical device, like a shoulder replacement, will wear out with time (generally 20-25 years, or so, in the shoulder, and varying on whether the replacement was a total or hemi shoulder arthroplasty). For this reason, surgeons usually recommend delaying surgery as long as tolerable.
Shoulder replacement is performed in the hospital. Usually, patients need to stay in the hospital 1-3 days after surgery for their recovery. Unlike knee or hip replacements, there is usually no need for blood transfusions after surgery, except for unusually complicated cases.
After surgery, the following products will be useful:
Cryotherapy unit. Cold therapy is an ice machine that can significantly decrease your pain after surgery. Hospitals used to give them to patients all the time; however, because insurance companies stopped reimbursing for them, the hospitals have discontinued this practice. We offer state-of-the art equipment, such as the DonJoy Iceman and the PolarCare Cub so you do not have to suffer in pain. Place your order before surgery, so you can bring the device to the hospital with you. Believe it or not, the nurses will actually appreciate this, as these units are far easier to maintain and much less messy than the ice bags they typically would place on you. Take the unit home with you to help decrease pain and swelling for the weeks after surgery.
Rehabilitation of the shoulder will be necessary. It is very important to follow your surgeons exact directions. You will find that doing your exercises routinely at home, under your surgeon's or physical therapist's guidance, will get you the best results possible after your joint replacement. Our Deluxe Shoulder Therapy Set can be a valuable aid to you. We have found it to be much nicer and "user-friendly" than the equipment given to you by your therapist (if they give you anything at all!).