Many people with chronic shoulder pain will eventually ask themselves, “when is it the right time to have shoulder replacement surgery?” There are many factors involved in that decision, and age is only one of them. If your quality of life is suffering, then you should discuss with your doctor. Other factors, such as the ability to work, exercise, and complete daily essential tasks such as dressing, sleeping, and self-care help you and your doctor decide when it’s time for surgery. It’s normal to be apprehensive but it’s comforting when you feel confident you made the right choice at the right time.

When Does Arthritis In the Shoulder Joint Begin To Develop?

It is a common occurrence for those over 50 to start developing arthritis. The most common form of arthritis is called osteoarthritis, which is the gradual breakdown of cartilage surfaces, or padding in the joints due to age and wear. There are other causes of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most prevalent. You may have some noticeable pain and possibly limited motion of the shoulder. An X-ray can establish the diagnosis of arthritis. When exercise, therapy and medications aren’t enough, it may be time to discuss with your doctor whether you are a candidate for a total shoulder replacement. It’s helpful to speak to a shoulder specialist such as Dr. Steven Goldberg, MD, who has experience treating patients before and after this surgery.

What Exactly Is Total Shoulder Replacement?

The core problem with arthritic joints is the loss of the normal cushioning or padding, causing two bone surfaces to rub and grind across each other, causing pain and swelling. In a nutshell, shoulder replacement surgery involves placing new surfaces at the ends of each bone that are smooth and keep the bones from grinding against each other. With an artificial joint, you’ll be able to have your range of motion restored and an improvement in pain. The procedure has evolved dramatically over the last 30 years and is highly successful with a comparatively short recovery period. Dr. Goldberg helped develop the Catalyst CSR Total Shoulder Replacement. This is a minimally invasive option that achieves great results.

Recovery Process

In most cases, people either go home from surgery the same day or the next day. Dr. Goldberg allows patients to shower immediately. Most people start performing basic exercises and using the arm for simple activities, such as eating or using their phone, the day after surgery. Most doctors will have patients wear a sling for four to six weeks, however, even with the sling on, patients are surprisingly functional. Most people will start physical therapy after surgery and typically go for two to three months, but each doctor handles this differently. Most people are functionally independent at six weeks, but Dr. Goldberg does not want patients returning to sports or vigorous exercise until three months. The vast majority of patients have excellent results.

Schedule a Consultation

Shoulder replacement surgery can seem daunting, but there have been significant improvements over the last few years in terms of recovery and patient experience. To learn more and meet with total shoulder replacement expert, Dr. Goldberg to discuss your options, we invite you to contact our Naples office by calling or filling out our online form.