A Brief Guide To Shoulder Joint ReplacementA Brief Guide To Shoulder Joint Replacement

Age, disease and accidents can leave one with joint and bone disabilities. Under such conditions, painful joints restrict the mobility and reduce the activity level of the affected individual. Some relief can be gained by pain killers, but long term use is not a safe and permanent cure.

Joint and bone disabilities are usually progressive disorders. Thus, condition of the affected joint deteriorates with time if proper medical advice and interventions are not followed. In the following article, we are mainly emphasising on the need for and benefits of shoulder joint replacement.

The shoulder is one of the most important joints in our body. Degradation or a diseased condition could severely and negatively affect your daily activities. It limits the socialising ability and quality of life of the patient. Dislocation or fracture in the shoulder joint, severe pain due to arthritis or other bone weakening diseases are some forms in which the joint may be affected or disabled. If the disease is given due consideration in the early stages of the disease, the mobility and health of the joint can be regained with medicines, physiotherapy and regular exercise. However in complex or delayed cases, shoulder joint replacement is the only and best alternative to overcome the trouble.

Like any other joint replacement, shoulder replacement surgery is an advanced surgical procedure performed by trained and experienced surgeons. The development of imaging technology assists in performing the replacement with better precision. The shoulder replacement surgery involves complete removal of the shoulder blade or any one affected component, which is replaced by an artificial one (called prosthesis). At times, it may just involve removing the extra growth (fat, cartilage or tissue layer), re-structuring or mending the deformity caused by an accident, or some other form of surgery. With advanced technology and better precision, the replacement surgery takes about two hours and the patient can be back at home in seven to eight hours.

With present day technology, post-surgery recovery after shoulder joint replacement is much faster as compared to the traditional surgical procedures.
After care involves the following steps:

•    Restricted movement of the joint for some weeks following the operation aids in a quick recovery. Activity can be re-gained gradually but one should seek physician’s advice at each stage;

•    Some pain relief medications and antibiotics might be necessary during first one or two weeks;

•    The patient must visit the doctor or change the dressing at home (with help from parents, friends or a nurse);

•    Follow prescribed exercises or physiotherapy routine for quick and better recovery of the operated joint.

It is true that most of the joint replacement surgeries done today are those for knee joints, but many shoulder replacements surgeries have also been performed successfully and have helped many people to re-gain initial levels of fitness and mobility.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical care or medical advice and is not a replacement for medical care given by your physicians or trained medical personnel.
by Gilbert Robbins
References and Bibliography
Dr. Zehr, the author of the above article is a well-known surgeon who has hands on experience in performing several joint surgeries including shoulder replacement surgery in the past.
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