Who Is a Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?


What is shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacement, or shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves removal of damaged areas of bone and replacing it with artificial parts constructed of metal or plastic. Replacing a damaged shoulder with an artificial joint (prosthesis) typically reduces pain while also improving functionality. The procedure usually takes approximately two hours to complete.

Candidates for shoulder replacement surgery

A health care professional determines who is a good candidate for shoulder replacement surgery based on the condition of the shoulder and the individual’s risks. Typically, a good candidate for shoulder replacement include those with any of the following:

  • Severe and unrelenting shoulder pain
  • Shoulder weakness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Chronic rotator cuff problems
  • Shoulder pain that is not relieved by nonsurgical treatments
  • Prior surgery or repairs failed to relieve symptoms

Candidates for shoulder replacement surgery generally have a condition that affects the shoulder. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

When is surgery not recommended?

Shoulder replacement surgery will not likely be recommended for certain reasons that include the following:

  • An infection is present in the shoulder or elsewhere in the body.
  • Medical instability is existent.

Surgery may be less successful

Shoulder replacement surgery may be less successful due to certain risk factors, which include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Psychiatric disorders or substance abuse problems leading to noncompliance
  • Poor motivation or unrealistic expectations
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Shoulder damage or pain caused by a neuropathic pathology
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