How to Know If You Are a Good Candidate For Shoulder Replacement Surgery

How to Know If You Are a Good Candidate For Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery is the fastest growing joint replacement procedure today, with over 70,000 surgeries taking place each year. While every case has its own unique challenges, the overall procedure has a high success rate, relieving pain and restoring mobility for many patients. 

There are a few conditions and restrictions that can interfere with your chances of a successful shoulder replacement. There may be exceptional circumstances, so the best way to know if you’re a good candidate for shoulder replacement surgery is through a consultation with your surgeon at 360 Orthopedics. We can review the circumstances surrounding your shoulder pain and advise you of your best options at any of our three Florida locations in Sarasota, Venice, & Lakewood Ranch. 

When is shoulder surgery a good idea? 

The most common reason for shoulder replacement surgery is advanced osteoarthritis that’s no longer manageable with conservative treatments. Other types of arthritis and chronic rotator cuff problems can also create conditions that can be solved with a joint replacement. 

Arthritis tends to cause stiffness and lack of mobility, while rotator cuff problems usually result in weakness. The associated pain patterns are often similar in both cases. When pain management plans no longer control symptoms, there’s often enough joint deterioration to warrant replacement surgery. 

Am I a good candidate for shoulder replacement surgery? 

There are few general exclusions for shoulder replacement procedures. Neither age nor body mass index will exclude you from surgery, as long as you’re in good overall health. Age and weight can increase the risk of complications, so your surgeon factors these into your treatment plan. 

Shoulder replacement exclusions

While these factors may not make you ineligible for surgery, they can reduce your chances for a successful procedure and healing. Combining more than one risk factor could create conditions where surgery is no longer recommended. 

Smoking 

People who use tobacco and nicotine products are 10 times more likely to require revision surgery after joint replacement surgery. Nicotine reduces blood flow, a key part of the healing and recovery process. You could be required to reduce your intake or quit before being approved for surgery. 

Infections

Systemic infections can make surgery risky. Infection is a risk for any surgical procedure, so pre-existing infections may postpone your shoulder replacement. 

Osteoporosis

This bone disease reduces the density of bone, potentially complicating the bonding between bone and the shoulder prosthetic. If your osteoporosis is mild or moderate, changes to surgical procedures could improve your chances for success. 

Shoulder damage

In some types of damage to the shoulder, such as deterioration of the socket on the inside of the shoulder blade, damage to the deltoid muscle, or severe damage to the rotator cuff, replacement surgery may not be recommended. 

Nerve damage

Damage to nerves between the spinal cord and the shoulder, arm, or hand may rule a patient out for shoulder replacement. 

People who have an increased risk of falling, such as dementia patients, may not be good candidates for shoulder replacement.

The team at 360 Orthopedics are joint replacement specialists, so if there’s a solution to your shoulder condition, they’ll find it. Arrange a consultation by contacting the most convenient location by phone or online. Book your session today. 

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