Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Monterey, CA

Shoulder replacement surgery is a common procedure that can help alleviate pain and improve mobility in individuals with severe shoulder conditions. If you are considering shoulder replacement surgery, it is important to understand the procedure, recovery process, and potential risks.

What is Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery—also known as shoulder arthroplasty—is a surgical procedure that involves replacing damaged or diseased parts of the shoulder joint with artificial components. The goal of this surgery is to reduce pain and improve function in the shoulder joint.

There are two main types that you can expect:

Total Shoulder Replacement

Total shoulder replacement involves replacing the damaged ball and socket of the shoulder joint with artificial components. This is the most common type of shoulder replacement surgery and is typically recommended for individuals with severe arthritis or other degenerative conditions.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Reverse shoulder replacement is a newer procedure that is typically recommended for individuals with severe rotator cuff tears or other shoulder conditions that have caused significant damage to the joint. In this surgery, the ball and socket are switched, and the ball is placed on the shoulder blade and the socket on the upper arm bone. This allows the deltoid muscle to take over the function of the damaged rotator cuff muscles.

Am I a Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery is usually recommended for individuals who have severe shoulder pain and limited mobility due to conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Rotator cuff tear arthropathy
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Severe fractures

Your doctor will evaluate your condition and determine if shoulder replacement surgery is the best option for you, as well as which kind.

The Shoulder Replacement Procedure

Shoulder replacement surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes about 2-to-3 hours to complete. The procedure involves the following steps:

  1. The surgeon makes an incision in the shoulder area.
  2. The damaged parts of the shoulder joint are removed.
  3. The artificial components are inserted and secured in place.
  4. The incision is closed with stitches or staples.

Potential Risks and Complications

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications associated with a shoulder replacement. These may include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve damage
  • Dislocation of the artificial joint
  • Loosening or wearing out of the artificial joint over time

Your doctor will discuss these risks with you and take steps to minimize them.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room where you will be monitored for a few hours. You may experience some pain and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication prescribed by your doctor.

Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process after shoulder replacement surgery. Your doctor will likely recommend starting physical therapy within a few days of your surgery. The goal of physical therapy is to help you regain strength, mobility, and function in your shoulder.

Your physical therapist will create a personalized exercise program for you, which may include:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Stretching exercises
  • Functional activities

It is important to follow your physical therapy program as directed by your therapist to ensure a successful recovery.

Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery Covered by Insurance?

Shoulder replacement surgery is typically covered by insurance, but coverage may vary, depending on factors such as your insurance provider, the type of insurance plan you have, and the specific details of your policy. It is important to check with your insurance company to understand expenses that will be covered, as well as those you will have to pay out-of-pocket. Prior authorization from your insurance company may be required before undergoing the surgery to ensure coverage.

Results and Long-Term Outlook

The success rate for this type of surgery is high with most individuals experiencing significant pain relief and improved function in their shoulder. The long-term outlook will depend, however, on factors such as your age, overall health, and the type of shoulder replacement surgery you had.