At Austin Shoulder Institute, Robert Graham, MD, and Benjamin Szerlip, DO, are board-certified orthopedic surgeons serving the communities of Austin, Cedar Park and Round Rock, Texas. Dr. Graham and Dr. Szerlip provide total shoulder replacement surgeries using the most advanced techniques to restore your joint, relieve pain, and enhance your quality of life. Call or schedule a consultation online today.
Why would I need a shoulder replacement surgery?
Like other types of joint replacement surgeries, the doctors at Austin Shoulder Institute only recommend shoulder replacement when more conservative options relieved issues like pain, weakness, joint instability and a reduced range of motion. Noninvasive treatment options include medications to reduce pain and inflammation, immobilizing the joint with a sling or brace, and physical therapy.
Your orthopedic surgeon evaluates your shoulder carefully before considering a total shoulder replacement. They may also order X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to confirm their diagnosis. In some cases, your doctor may use arthroscopy to examine the inside of your shoulder to ensure that a total shoulder replacement is the best treatment option available.
What should I expect during a total shoulder replacement?
Your doctor provides sedation and an anesthetic to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. Whenever possible, they perform the surgery with minimally invasive techniques.
During the surgery, your doctor removes the damaged bones and replaces them with medical-grade plastic or metal prosthetic devices. Your surgeon may use bone cement to attach the prosthetics or a press-fit technique. When your surgery is complete, your doctor closes any incisions. They may provide a sling or splint to immobilize your joint while you heal and your replacement joint devices bond with your natural bone.
What should I expect during recovery?
You may have some discomfort or tenderness following your total shoulder replacement. Your doctor will give you customized aftercare advice, but in general, you can use ice packs and anti-inflammatory medicine to control swelling and pain. You will also begin physical therapy soon after your surgery to keep your muscles and connective tissue strong, flexible, and supportive. It may take several months to recover from your shoulder replacement surgery completely. Make sure to attend your follow-up appointments and follow your doctor’s advice for a rapid recovery.