Shoulder Replacement – Frequently Asked Questions
This following provides a brief introduction to shoulder replacement. It can help you make a list of questions to ask your doctor, but it is not meant to provide complete information. Check with your surgeon’s office about more comprehensive resources and patient education materials.
What is shoulder replacement?
In shoulder replacement surgery, the painful surfaces of the damaged shoulder are resurfaced with artificial shoulder parts. The part that replaces the ball consists of a stem with a rounded metal head. The part that replaces the socket consists of a smooth plastic concave shell that matches the round head of the ball. When both sides of the joint are resurfaced, we call it a total shoulder replacement. However, your doctor may determine that only the humeral side of the joint (ball) should be resurfaced. We call this a partial shoulder replacement.
How do I prepare for shoulder replacement surgery?
If you and your surgeon decide that total shoulder replacement is right for you, a date will be scheduled for your surgery. Several things may be necessary to prepare for surgery. For example, your surgeon might ask you to have a physical examination by your primary care physician. This will ensure that other health problems you may have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, will be treated before surgery. Your doctor, or a staff member, will advise you about the things you can do to prepare for your hospital stay, and your rehabilitation after surgery.
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