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Arthroplasty of Shoulder: The procedure, risks, complications and more

  • Posted on- Oct 18, 2016
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Written by site author.

Arthroplasty of Shoulder is a type of surgical procedure that involves replacing one of the shoulder joints with a prosthetic device or an implant. The procedure is normally performed to repair the shoulder joints or surrounding tissue, muscles, cartilage, etc.

What are the reasons for shoulder arthroplasty?

How a shoulder arthroplasty procedure is performed?

  • Shoulder arthroplasty involves making a 4-6 inch incision on the affected shoulder under general anaesthesia depending upon the severity of the case and the patient’s medical history
  • The type of surgical procedure further performed, depends on the underlying condition. In severe cases where there is an arm mobility problem leading to a disability Total Arthroplasty is performed
  • In such cases, depending on the condition of the joint, the surgeon may replace a part of the joint, or the whole of it with a prosthetic device (made of metal and/or plastic)
  • The incision is then sutured and bandaged
  • In order to prevent any injury and ensure total recovery, the patient is required to wear a sling or a cast, for a minimum of 2-3 weeks
  • Immediately after the surgery, compression bandages are placed over the area to avoid swelling, to control pain, and prevent blood clots
An orthopaedic surgeon performs shoulder arthroplasty procedure assisted by an anaesthesiologist. The surgery can take anywhere between 3-6 hours.

What are the preparations needed before a shoulder arthroplasty procedure?

  • The physician may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient including information related to the medications that are being currently taken
  • Medications for arthritis have to be stopped and this has to be informed to the surgeon. Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time, before the procedure is performed
  • Blood tests may be performed to determine if there is a bleeding tendency or any other medical conditions that prevents the person from undergoing the procedure
  • If the patient suffers from any heart condition, their surgeon may request them to visit a cardiologist to ensure a stable heart condition and indicate a readiness for surgery
  • For persons suffering from diabetes, it is important that the blood sugar stays within the normal range if not their diabetologist may have to control blood sugar by recommending insulin or a combination of oral medicines
  • If the person suffers from any infection or have mild cold flu just before their surgery is due, the surgeon must be notified of the same
  • It is advisable to quit smoking and the use of any nicotine based products, for a while, before the surgery
  • Consumption of alcoholic drinks must also be avoided for a period of time, as instructed

What are the complications during a shoulder arthroplasty procedure?

Care required after a shoulder arthroplasty procedure

  • Avoid activities that will exert your shoulder or arm muscles
  • Oral medications must be taken, as advised by the physician

It may take 6 months to completely recover from a shoulder arthroplasty procedure.


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23-10-2017 03:56 PM

I was suffering from severe joint dislocations, then I had decided to go through arthroplasty. This was a very hard procedure.

user profile image
20-07-2017 03:57 AM

It has been almost 2 years since my surgery and I can't believe how great I feel. It was a life changing process.

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