If you have seriously damaged your shoulder due to physical activity, you may need to replace it. One guaranteed way to have your shoulder moving and pain-free is via total shoulder replacement surgery. Here is some important information you should know before you proceed with the surgery.


What is Total Shoulder Replacement?

Total shoulder replacement is a procedure that involves replacing the shoulder joint with artificial parts. The surgery aims to reduce pain and restore mobility. In addition, the procedure helps treat end-stage arthritis.

When you have a healthy shoulder, your cartilage surfaces allow your bones to move comfortably against one another. However, when the cartilage surfaces disappear, you'll experience friction resulting in damage due to your bones being in direct contact with one another. As a result, Bone-on-bone movement is difficult and painful. Luckily, the total shoulder replacement is used in restoring free movement and reducing pain.


What Diagnosis is Treated with Total Shoulder Replacement?

The doctor performs standard x-rays to diagnose arthritis. It may also be necessary to have a CT scan to evaluate bone integrity and magnetic resonance imaging to determine the condition of the surrounding tissues. In addition, the doctor may order an EMG test to evaluate the nerves feeding into the muscles if nerve damage is suspected.

What Happens During Total Shoulder Replacement?

The shoulder replacement procedure takes about two hours. First, you'll be given general anesthesia and will be unconscious during the surgery. Next, the doctor replaces the damaged joint with a metal ball.

The doctor also places a plastic surface on the shoulder socket. The ball of the joint is replaced when a partial shoulder replacement is done.

You'll be taken to the recovery room for a few hours after the surgery. Once you wake up, you'll be moved to a hospital room.

What Diagnosis is Treated with Total Shoulder Replacement | Miers Johnson Orthopedics

What is Recovery Like for Total Shoulder Replacement?

Your medical team will give you antibiotics to prevent infection. Most patients can start eating solid foods a day after the procedure. Here is what to expect for the recovery from total shoulder replacement surgery:

  • On the day of surgery - you'll wake up in the recovery room with your arm immobilized in an arm sling. You may experience some temporary pain because of the surgery.
  • After the surgery - the patient is allowed to use their wrist and hand. The shoulder is immobilized with a sling to allow the tendons to heal. You can remove the sling for rehabilitation exercises and showering.
    • With an anatomic total joint replacement, physical therapy may be initiated, but we protect the anterior shoulder muscles during the recuperative period.
    • After a reverse total shoulder (which is done for rotator cuff insufficiency), physical therapy is delayed for six weeks to allow the bone to grow into the implant. During that time, we do passive motion exercises to prevent stiffness.
  • After six months - most patients are pain-free and can begin returning to regular activities.

Why Choose Dr. Miers Johnson for Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

If you or your loved one need a total shoulder replacement, contact us. Dr. Miers Johnson has been in the medical field for 42 years, so you can rest easy knowing your surgical procedure is in experienced hands. Dr. Johnson specializes in shoulder and upper arm surgery. Submit a contact form or call (208) 321-4790 to schedule a consultation!

Why Choose Dr. Miers Johnson for Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery?