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Shoulder Replacement

What is Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery is the removal of portions of the shoulder joint, which are replaced with artificial implants, used to function like your natural joint. This surgery is used to treat severe pain and stiffness caused by:

  • End-stage arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Large rotator cuff tears
  • Severe joint fractures

You may also need shoulder replacement surgery to correct a previous shoulder surgery that failed.

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What are the types of Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Partial shoulder replacement
Partial shoulder replacement surgery involves removing only the damaged portions of your joint and replacing them with artificial joint devices. Dr. Beringer, a board-certified shoulder replacement expert, can also repair damaged soft tissues that surround your joint and resurface bone material to relieve pain and improve your flexibility.

Total shoulder replacement
Total joint replacement involves removing the ball and replacing it with a new metal ball. The socket is then resurfaced. Ligamentous and muscular structures are preserved.

Reverse shoulder replacement
A reverse total shoulder replacement is a procedure commonly used to treat patients who have shoulder arthritis, a severe rotator cuff tear or experienced a previously failed shoulder surgery.

This type of surgery involves reversing the position of the plastic socket and metal ball so you can use your deltoid muscle instead of your rotator cuff to lift your arm.

This makes it an ideal choice when the damaged shoulder needs new surfaces but does not have sufficient healthy soft tissues to support stabilization and movement.

What is Shoulder Arthroscopy?
Shoulder arthroscopy is an alternative procedure to a Total Shoulder Replacement.

It is among the most common types of shoulder surgeries and is considered the minimally invasive option.

However, arthroscopic surgery primarily treats conditions that cause arthritis, rather than arthritis itself. This treatment is generally useful in patients who have the following issues:

  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Torn shoulder labrum

How do I know if I need a Shoulder Replacement?

Over 50,000 people undergo some type of shoulder surgery in the U.S. each year, but it's important to understand the underlying issues that lead to surgery and the best treatment options for relief. Many people live with shoulder pain managed by non-operative treatment methods like stretching, rest, ice/heat, injections, and physical therapy. If those methods become less effective or the dysfunctional level climbs, surgical options can be explored at that time.

Signs that shoulder surgery may be the best solution for pain relief, include:

  • An injury, which results in weakness or loss of motion.
  • Ongoing pain over a long period of time limits your daily activities.
  • An unstable shoulder that 'pops' in and out.

Call us to make an appointment and find out if you are a candidate for shoulder surgery.

What can I do to help my recovery after shoulder surgery?

The presurgical condition of the patient's shoulder muscles and tendons play the largest role in the time frame of a patient’s recovery. In all cases, proper and extensive postoperative rehabilitation are key factors in achieving the maximum benefit of shoulder replacement surgery.

However, it generally takes eight weeks or more for patients to recover. It may be several months before a patient may do heavy labor or strenuous strength exercises.

After surgery, the patient will wake up in the recovery room with the arm immobilized at the side in an arm sling. Patients usually experience some temporary pain due to the surgery, but the arthritic pain is largely decreased after surgery.

X-rays are taken to determine if the implant was properly positioned. After a period of immobilization in a sling that allows for internal healing, the patient can start physical therapy. Soon after surgery, patients are also permitted to use the hand and wrist.

The shoulder will still be immobilized by a sling during the early rehabilitation phase to permit the tendons which have been repaired to heal. This sling is removable for showering and for rehabilitation exercises. Mobility will continue to improve throughout the period of physical therapy.

Why come to ATJS for a shoulder replacement?

Whether it's to treat arthritis or a rotator cuff tear, ATJS is here to help you get back to living your life free of pain. At your appointment with one of our board-certified shoulder experts, we will spend time educating you on your shoulder problem and what you can expect with both non-operative and operative treatments.

Our surgeons are among the most skilled surgeons in Georgia and Dr. Beringer has over 25 years of experience in the field of orthopedics, his specialties include shoulder and orthopedic oncology. This experience allows us to achieve very high success rates, avoid complications and help effectively relieve our patients’ pain.

As a patient, you can expect exceptional customer service from the moment you call to make your appointment to a close follow-up from one of our team members after surgery. The goal has always been to develop a program that serves the community with the highest standards for outcomes and safety.

Call to make an appointment with our Shoulder Expert.

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Call our office to make an appointment or to refer a patient. 770-292-6500