If you've had a shoulder injury or have arthritis in your shoulder, your doctor may talk to you about having shoulder replacement surgery. Sometimes, replacing the joint is the only way to relieve pain that's caused from joint deterioration. Shoulder replacement surgery could improve your quality of life and allow you to resume activities you had to give up. Here's a look at when this surgery might be a good option for you.
When Other Treatments Don't Work
Your doctor may try different forms of treatment before recommending surgery. Anti-inflammatory medications might help and pain relievers may control pain for a time. Since the deterioration of your shoulder joint can get worse when you have arthritis, medications may become less effective. When cartilage wears away and bones grind on each other, the best treatment might be surgery.
When Pain Is Severe
Everyone has a different tolerance for pain, so your doctor will consider how your pain affects your life. If you have pain daily that isn't controlled with medication or if your pain keeps you awake at night, then shoulder replacement surgery might be recommended for pain relief. You might also have a situation where you can't tolerate pain medication because of the side effects. By replacing your worn and damaged joint with an artificial joint, the cause of your pain is eliminated and you won't need to rely on pain medication to get you through the day.
When You Lose Range Of Motion
A shoulder injury or arthritis can cause you to lose full range of motion in your shoulder. This could interfere with your ability to do your job. It might also cause you to stop social and recreational activities such as playing golf and swimming. If you can't move your shoulder to raise your arm, it's difficult to bathe, dress yourself, and cook. When you have your shoulder joint replaced, you will have greater range of motion after you've recovered and gone through physical therapy. This improves your quality of life and allows you to be more active. Plus, you'll be more independent and not have to rely on anyone to help you because you can't move your arm.
Shoulder replacement surgery is a major operation, so it's something to discuss with your doctor so you understand the benefits and risks. However, it is a procedure to consider when pain and limited movement interfere with your life and if your medical condition is likely to keep getting worse. Instead of suffering, a shoulder replacement procedure could restore your shoulder to normal function and make your life better.
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