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?
If you have painful, limited arm and shoulder movement that gets in the way of your ability to perform everyday tasks comfortably or wakes you up at night, your surgeon provides consultation and exam to determine if a total shoulder replacement is necessary.
For example, your surgeon may suggest shoulder replacement surgery if medication, injections or physical therapy aren’t relieving your pain or improving your mobility. Your surgeon may also propose shoulder replacement if you have suffered from shoulder fractures, or if you have a severely torn rotator cuff.
What should I expect during a total shoulder replacement?
During a shoulder replacement, Dr. Szerlip or Dr. Graham replaces the ball (humeral head) of the shoulder joint with an implant that includes a stem with a smooth, rounded metal head. They also replace the socket (glenoid) with a smooth, round plastic cup that fits the rounded metal head. Total shoulder replacement recreates the natural ball and socket anatomy of your shoulder joint.
What should I expect during recovery?
Your surgeon gives you customized instructions on how to take care of your shoulder for a smooth recovery. For example, typical post-surgical advice includes:
- Take prescribed medication as directed
- Wear the sling as recommended
- Do not use your surgery arm to push yourself up in bed or from a chair
- Do not use your surgery arm to pull anything to you
- Follow your program of home exercises but don’t overdo it
- Don’t participate in sports or lift any heavy objects for at least 6 weeks
- Get home support if you need it.
- Use caution to avoid falls.
Your total recovery time is approximately three to six months, and physical therapy is required to gain range of motion with the new joint. Make sure to attend your follow-up appointments and follow your doctor’s advice for a rapid recovery.