Each year in the United States, more than 50,000 shoulder replacement surgeries are performed, helping patients restore normal, pain-free movement in their shoulders and arms. Though not nearly as common as knee or hip replacement (more than a million of these surgeries are performed annually), shoulder replacement surgery has a high success rate in helping patients maintain their lifestyle and quality of life.
At his offices in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas, J. Michael Bennett, MD, uses state-of-the-art surgical techniques for shoulder replacement surgeries, including minimally invasive techniques that help you recover more quickly. Here’s what you should expect if shoulder replacement surgery is in your future.
Shoulder replacement: The basics
Shoulder replacement surgery uses special techniques to remove the damaged parts of the shoulder joint or the entire joint, replacing the joint with artificial components. These components are made of biocompatible materials and designed to work just like your shoulder joint.
Dr. Bennett recommends shoulder replacement surgery when conservative treatments, like medication, physical therapy, and injections have failed. Less commonly, he may recommend surgery as a first-line treatment if nonsurgical options aren’t appropriate.
Most shoulder replacement surgeries are performed in patients with advanced arthritis, but the surgery can also be beneficial in patients with traumatic shoulder injuries. Typically, surgery is performed in a hospital setting using general anesthesia. Depending on your needs, Dr. Bennett may use an “open” technique with a large incision or a minimally invasive approach using two or three tiny incisions.
Effectiveness of shoulder replacement
If shoulder replacement surgery is in your future, you should be happy to know that it’s very effective in restoring mobility — and it’s associated with a high level of patient satisfaction, too. Data show 95% of patients achieve a pain-free range of motion in their shoulder joint within a year of their procedure. Even better: There’s no upper age limit for shoulder replacement surgery, as long as patients are healthy enough for anesthesia and able to participate in their recovery.
Of course, shoulder replacement surgery can be an excellent choice for younger patients, too. Athletes who use their arms for throwing, swinging a racket or club, climbing, or other “overhead” or weight-bearing activities face higher risks of shoulder arthritis and joint deterioration, often making them good candidates for replacement surgery, too.
A recent study found that nearly 100% of shoulder replacement patients under age 55 returned to at least one sport within seven months of their surgery, including sports with significant arm involvement. What’s more, nearly all patients reported high levels of satisfaction with their results and recovery.
Learn how to relieve your shoulder pain
Many issues can cause or contribute to shoulder pain, stiffness, or weakness. Dr. Bennett offers various treatment options, including shoulder replacement surgery, to help patients restore joint function and improve their quality of life.
To find out what’s causing your shoulder pain or learn more about shoulder replacement surgery, book an appointment online or over the phone today.