Top Signs You Need A Total Shoulder Replacement

The human body is an amazing device. Although you don’t see it or perhaps even appreciate it, there are billions of neurons and trillions of connections in the human brain, never mind all the communication and connections across the body.

Of course, like any high-performance machine, there are times when the system no longer works as efficiently as it should. The good news is that technology has advanced tremendously in recent years and is continuing to do so. It makes it possible to transplant organs and even replace parts of the body.

Shoulder replacement is not uncommon. In fact, studies show over 24,000 shoulders have been replaced in Australia alone. That’s good to know if you are about to have yours done. A reputable Orthopaedic surgeon Adelaide can replace your shoulder in complete, safety having done the operation many times before.

Understanding The Shoulder

Your shoulder is made up of three primary bones, the upper arm, shoulder blade, and the collar bone. The arm and the shoulder blade connect via a standard ball joint while the collar blade connects above them. All the bones are held together with tendons and muscles and a material known as cartilage helps things move smoothly.

Unfortunately, cartilage can be damaged or simply erode, allowing the bones to grind against each other. This is painful.

Solutions To Shoulder Issues

Before surgery can be considered you’ll need to see a doctor who will refer you to a specialist. This will allow them to map the damage to your shoulder and try to fix it.

It’s normal to be given pain medication, you are likely to be offered anti-inflammatory drugs, these are not steroids. Their aim is to reduce any inflammation and allow the shoulder to operate normally again. Inflammation occurs in the body as a result of injury. The inflammation protects the injured area but often aggravates nearby nerves causing pain.

Doctors will often try using corticosteroid which helps the cartilage to ensure smooth operation of the shoulder joint.

Alongside the above, the doctor will usually recommend physical therapy. This is when a specialist will give you exercises to do that help to maintain mobility and strengthen then joint and surrounding muscles.

Shoulder Replacement

If the above options have not helped your shoulder pain or mobility the surgeon will do scans and x-rays to assess the depth of the issue. At this point surgery is likely, the main question is whether the joint can be supported or if it is best to replace the entire shoulder.

The decision will be based on the amount of pain you are in and the deterioration seen in the shoulder. The greater the deterioration the more likely it is that the entire shoulder will be replaced.

The operation is straightforward and relatively short. However, you will need to give it time to heal and follow the exercises provided by the physical therapist. This will ensure the new shoulder works properly and you don’t suffer any further issues.