My shoulder pain is getting worse! When Shoulder Replacement Becomes an Option

When shoulder pain keeps you from doing a favorite sport or activity, sometimes taking a break or trying something new is best. An orthopedic doctor may also recommend physical therapy, injections, ice, or medications that reduce inflammation. But shoulder pain that's still getting worse and starts to keep you from everyday activities such as reaching into overhead cabinets, caring for yourself, or sleeping well should send you back to the doctor.

Patients with this severe type of pain may be candidates for shoulder replacement surgery. There are many reasons shoulder replacement is an option. Arthritis caused by aging, injury, or inflammatory conditions can lead directly to the destruction of the shoulder joint. Trauma that shatters the bones in the shoulder joint or issues that disrupt the blood supply to the bones may also compromise the joint beyond the scope of conservative treatments.

The decision to have shoulder replacement surgery is made by the patient and patient's family. It's based on the orthopedic doctor's thoughtful recommendation after careful study of the patient's current health problems, health history, imaging and other test results, and when appropriate, consultation with the patient's other doctors. The goal is to get the patient as free from pain as possible and back to doing what they love to do.

Because the shoulder is a very complex joint, many patients opt for a board certified, fellowship trained surgeon who specializes in shoulder problems. The shoulder doctors at Coastal Ortho are trained in the most current minimally invasive shoulder replacement techniques. This is key to helping speed recovery and reducing any risks during and after surgery.