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Shoulder Replacement

Every year, thousands of people opt for shoulder replacement surgery in India, to relieve persistent shoulder pain and restore mobility. The surgery is recommended for patients who are not positively responding to medication and therapy. Shoulder replacement is a solution for degenerative joint diseases as well as shoulder injuries and fractures. Paired with physiotherapy, it is the best solution for rotator cuff tears. 

What is shoulder replacement?
Shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure that aims at eliminating chronic shoulder pain and improving the functionality of the shoulder, by replacing damaged shoulder joints with new, prosthetic components. The shoulder joint has the highest range of motion as compared to any other joint in your body, however, a diseased or damaged shoulder joint can limit the same, making it difficult for you to take part in normal day-to-day activities. 

What are the different types of shoulder replacement?
Shoulder replacement surgery is broadly classified into the following five types:
●    Hemiarthroplasty 
●    Resurfacing hemiarthroplasty 
●    Anatomic total shoulder replacement 
●    Stemless total shoulder arthroplasty, 
●    Reverse total shoulder replacement

Who is recommended to go for shoulder replacement?
Shoulder replacement surgery is recommended for people experiencing any of the following: 
●    Chronic shoulder pain caused by underlying conditions like osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, avascular necrosis and rheumatoid arthritis 
●    Weakness or loss of strength in the shoulder
●    Pain that is interfering with your sleep cycle
●    Pain that is not responding to any medication
●    Limited mobility in the shoulder

What happens before the procedure?
●    Doctors will perform certain tests and assessments to evaluate the extent of damage and curate a proper surgical plan to be followed
●    This is followed by a thorough assessment of your past medical records to make sure you do not have any medical condition that can interfere with the course of the treatment.
●    You will be informed about the medical procedure and the various benefits and risks involved 
●    It is important to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect pregnancy
●    You will need to refrain from consuming anything, starting at least 8 hours prior to the surgery
●    You will have to make necessary arrangements at home to make sure that you do not face any difficulty post-surgery

What happens during the procedure?
●    The surgery will take about 2 hours and you will remain sedated throughout.
●    A nurse will start an intravenous line to administer nutritional fluids and medication to your arm 
●    You will be connected to a monitor that will simultaneously record your vitals i.e. heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc
●    Once you are under the influence of anaesthesia, the surgical site will be cleaned and doctors will carefully make an incision to access the affected joint components.
●    Doctors will carefully replace the damaged joint components and fix the prosthetic parts in the right position
●    The incision is then closed and a drain may be placed to allow excess fluids to come out

What to expect after the procedure?
●    After the procedure, you can experience mild pain and discomfort which can be taken care of with the help of prescribed pain medication.
●    Rigorous physical activities should be avoided, such as pulling and pushing heavy weights
●    You will need to go for physiotherapy to help in quick recovery
●    You will also have to go for regular check-ups to help your doctors keep a track of your progress

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