You rely on your shoulder for so many daily activities — from taking a shower to household chores or working on a computer. Swelling, muscle strains, tendon injuries, or arthritis can make any arm movement painful.
Shoulder replacement, or shoulder arthroplasty, replaces your shoulder joint with plastic or metal parts (implants or prostheses). Our experienced orthopedic surgeons use the least invasive approaches to restore shoulder movement, including leading-edge methods that result in less pain and scarring and a faster recovery.
When you choose Tower Health, you can count on complete care — from a personalized treatment plan to one-on-one support to help you recover after surgery. We help coordinate all your care and make your experience as convenient and worry-free as possible. You get comprehensive education so that you know what to expect every step of the way.
Types of Shoulder Replacement
Your surgeon will design a treatment plan that offers you the best possible results, based on your lifestyle and needs. We use sophisticated technology to plan surgery and the latest, minimally invasive approaches — techniques that offer less pain and scarring and a faster recovery.
After a thorough evaluation, we plan a surgery that’s right for you, such as:
- Total shoulder replacement. We replace your shoulder socket with a plastic cup and place a metal ball on the top of your upper arm bone (humerus). This allows your shoulder joint to move smoothly.
- Reverse shoulder replacement. We use this method when there’s extensive damage to the rotator cuff muscles, which help position your arm during movement. We place a metal ball in your shoulder socket and a plastic cup on the top of your humerus. This allows your deltoid muscles, instead of your rotator cuff muscles, to move and stabilize your arm.
- Partial shoulder replacement. We remove the top of your humerus bone and replace it with a metal ball, without replacing your shoulder socket. In some instances, we reshape (resurface) the socket to improve joint movement.
- Shoulder resurfacing. We place a metal cap over the top of your humerus — rather than replacing it — to let your joint move better.
Sophisticated Shoulder Replacement Approaches
Our goal is to help you return to your life as quickly as possible. We use the latest, least invasive techniques to give you the best outcome. Our skilled surgeons provide leading-edge care and design a treatment that gives you the results you want.
- Minimally invasive shoulder replacement. We use advanced imaging equipment that allows us to repair your shoulder through a few small incisions. It’s a faster procedure than traditional surgery, and it offers less pain and scarring and a quicker recovery.
- Safe, effective pain management. We use the latest pain management approaches to keep you comfortable after surgery, including nerve blocks, pain medicine shots, and opioid-free pain medications. We develop a personalized pain management plan just for you.
- Patient-centered care. Our doctors, nurses, and therapists specialize in joint replacement care. You get individual attention to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible after surgery.
The Shoulder Replacement Process
Our joint replacement coordinator will explain the shoulder replacement process and take care of all the details — including coordinating presurgical testing. We make sure you know how to prepare for and what to expect before and after surgery.
Most people spend one or two nights in the hospital after shoulder replacement, but it depends on the surgery type and your health.
You can expect:
- Pre-surgery preparation assistance. We offer advice to help you get as healthy as possible before surgery with lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise guidance. We also help you get ready for your recovery at home.
- Pre-admission testing. We help you schedule routine tests, such as blood tests, to make sure you’re ready for surgery. · Shoulder replacement education. You learn everything you need to know about preparing for and recovering after surgery. Our classes and comprehensive patient guide ensure you’re well-informed.
- Movement after surgery. You’ll wear a sling to protect and hold your shoulder in position after surgery. Some people can use their hand and wrist right away for simple activities. You’ll wear the sling for at least the first month after surgery, and your team will talk to you about using how to increase activities gradually.
- Shoulder replacement rehabilitation. We provide physical therapy while you’re in the hospital and outpatient appointments once you return home. You’ll begin a light exercise program within a few weeks after surgery. After four or six weeks, you’ll work with a physical therapist to strengthen your shoulder.