Considerations To Discuss With Your Doctor About Shoulder Replacement Surgery

27 July 2018
 Categories: , Blog


If you have frequent pain and limited mobility in your shoulder due to arthritis, then your doctor might recommend shoulder replacement surgery if other types of treatment don't help with your pain. Your general health is considered before undergoing surgery to ensure you're a good candidate with a low risk of complications. Your doctor has other criteria to consider as well when it comes to this type of surgery. Here are some factors that influence whether you are a good match for shoulder replacement surgery.

If You Smoke

Smoking and surgery of any kind is a bad combination because the effects of smoking increase the risk of complications and slow healing. If you smoke, your doctor will probably ask you to quit smoking for several weeks before the surgery and for several weeks after the procedure until you've healed. If you've been a lifelong smoker, this could pose problems for you, but there are treatments that can help you stop smoking. You don't want to postpone surgery if you need it and you don't want to have surgery if you're still smoking, so stopping smoking is the best solution.

If Your Osteoarthritis Is Advancing

Deciding on a shoulder replacement isn't always easy and you may want to put it off if you have work and family obligations. However, if the damage to your shoulder is getting worse over time, then having the surgery sooner rather than later could be the best choice. When joint damage escalates, it can make surgery in the future more difficult or less effective.

If your mobility is limited due to pain and joint damage, then your muscles get weaker over time. Weak muscles could make recovery from surgery more complicated. Your doctor will help you decide on the ideal timing for your surgery so you don't wait too long and cause problems that could have been avoided. Plus, the sooner you have the surgery, the sooner you'll be free of shoulder pain and regain normal range of motion.

If You Have Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis might prevent you from having shoulder replacement surgery if the condition is advanced. Osteoporosis causes your bones to be brittle and that could affect how well the replacement is supported. However, having osteoporosis doesn't automatically exclude you from having a shoulder replacement. Your doctor may still be able to do the surgery by adapting the procedure to the condition of your bones. You might also undergo treatments that strengthen your bones before the surgery is done so there is a lower risk of complications.

There isn't an age limit for shoulder replacement surgery although the older you are, the more difficult it is to recover from any type of surgery. If you are healthy and active no matter what your age, then you might benefit from having a shoulder replacement procedure once your doctor has determined you are a good match for the operation. For more information about the surgery, visit websites like