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Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The shoulder replacement experts at Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) recommend shoulder replacement surgery when you are experiencing debilitating pain and you can no longer perform everyday tasks.

Shoulder pain and loss of motion can be caused by:

  • Arthritis
  • Shoulder fracture
  • Injury to the joint

When to Consider Surgery

If you can no longer participate in your favorite activities or perform functions in your daily life, such as driving or putting away the groceries, it’s time to consider shoulder replacement surgery.

Before Surgery

If you think shoulder replacement surgery may be right for you, the first step is to schedule an office visit with a member of our team. We’ll meet with you and conduct a thorough evaluation, including:

  • X-rays
  • Discussion of your current challenges and goals
  • A review of the benefits and risks of surgery

At Miami Valley Hospital, we treat the whole patient. That’s why it’s important for us to understand everything you’re currently experiencing, along with getting to know you and your goals for shoulder replacement.

Every patient must attend our Total Joint Class at MVH. Taught by experienced clinical nurse and physical therapists, you will learn about all aspects of your surgery, including pain management and therapy expectations after the procedure. Patients who attend the class go into surgery with less anxiety.

During Surgery

Our shoulder arthroplasty team at Miami Valley Hospital specializes in two minimally invasive shoulder replacement techniques. Each method helps decrease complications and pain during surgery.

Total shoulder replacement, also known as total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), treats severe pain and stiffness that often results at the end stage of various forms of arthritis or degenerative joint disease of the shoulder. During this procedure, our specialists remove the damaged shoulder joint and replace it with an artificial joint called prosthesis.

Benefits of total shoulder replacement may include:

  • Pain relief
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved motion, strength and function

Partial shoulder replacement is for patients whose shoulder socket is healthy and has no signs of arthritis. With partial shoulder replacement, only the ball of the shoulder joint is replaced. This procedure requires less bone removal and uses a smaller incision than a total shoulder replacement.

The benefits of partial shoulder replacement surgery compared to a total replacement may include:

  • A less involved surgery
  • A shorter recovery time than with a traditional total shoulder replacement
  • Less pain

Pain Management

Pain relief is often the main reason patients have shoulder replacement surgery. Since pain is something patients fear most, we want to ensure our patients experience as little pain from surgery as possible. To do this, our Pain Center team provides a customized pain management plan based on your individual needs.

This plan might include:

  • Nerve blocks, known as fascia iliaca, to provide pain control around the shoulder after surgery.
  • Multi-dry modal control to hit the pain from all different paths, including the use of Tylenol, narcotics, Ultram, and anti-inflammatory medications, such as Toradol, to help stay ahead of the pain.
  • Rest and ice following surgery to help control pain and swelling.

Risks and Complications

Every surgery has the risk for complications. Our specialists take every possible precaution to lessen these risks.

Infection – To prevent infection during surgery, we give our patients antibiotics before, during and after surgery. We also treat the skin with antiseptic and screen every patient for infection risks before surgery. Only about 1 percent of patients experience an infection with surgery.

Swelling or edema, a build-up of fluid beneath the skin – To prevent excessive swelling or fluid build-up, our trained therapists visit you immediately after surgery and begin your therapy routine the same day.

Blood Loss – At MVH, we use “tranexamic acid” to help prevent blood loss during surgery. Tranexamic acid is a medication that helps blood clot. It has a short half-life in the body, which prevents the risk of any long-term issues. Less than 5 percent of patients at MVH require a blood transfusion during or after surgery.

After Surgery

You’ll remain in the hospital for 2 to 3 days following your shoulder replacement surgery. Before you go home, one of our trained physical therapists will get you started on a therapy routine and rehabilitation plan.

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