Monday, December 12, 2016

Shoulder replacements zooming in popularity

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the number of partial and total shoulder replacements has gone from 18,000 in 2000 to 45,000 in 2013.

I know two people who have had this surgery. It's less common than knee and hip replacements, but equally good at relieving arthritis pain.

One patient cited by Loyola, which performed ten times as many shoulder replacements in 2015 than in 2010, could not lift his arm above his head, put dishes away or even stay asleep--the pain would wake him up. He regained full range of motion and is pain free.

According to one doctor, patients often say they should not have waited--the results were that good.

A total replacement involves a metal ball and plastic socket. A partial is just the ball, fitted to the patient's own socket.

What about recovery time? The surgery usually means one night in the hospital and a sling for a month or so as activity is gradually increased. Full recovery takes 6-10 months.

If you are dealing with bad should pain and restricted activities--ask your doctor about this. Of course, any surgery has some risks--get all the facts.

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