The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the entire body—at least, it should. Individuals who deal with shoulder arthritis or other major issues know how painful, frustrating, and inconvenient these types of conditions can be. Thankfully, there are options available to help people dealing with debilitating shoulder problems regain control of their lives. Recently, three medical and technological advancements have come into practice for the benefit of individuals who need shoulder replacement surgeries.
On a daily basis, we ask a lot of our shoulder joints. From getting dressed to throwing a ball, putting away dishes and everything in between, we use our shoulders for even the smallest of tasks. When you have a serious shoulder problem, these daily activities become extremely painful. In the past, not everyone dealing with chronic shoulder pain and limited mobility had the option of receiving a total joint replacement surgery. Individuals with bone loss, torn rotator cuffs, and other specialized injuries were previously limited in their treatment options. Now, however, thanks to recent medical advancements, total replacement surgeries have become more common, effective, and convenient.
If you are interested in a total shoulder replacement surgery, consider the following:
What is a Total Shoulder Replacement?
Total shoulder replacement surgeries are intended to restore range of motion in the shoulder joint by replacing the joint itself. There are several different methods to perform this surgery, but the end result is generally the same. Not everyone with shoulder problems needs a total replacement surgery, but these types of procedures can benefit individuals with severe shoulder arthritis and other conditions that significantly limit mobility.
New Techniques and Advances
In the past, total shoulder replacement surgeries would require significant recovery times and were only available to patients with very specific types of shoulder problems. Now, several new techniques make it possible for more people than ever to receive this life-changing surgery.
The three new advancements designed to help total shoulder replacement surgeries include:
Reverse Shoulder Replacements
Traditional shoulder replacement surgery directly substitutes the shoulder joint with a ball-and-socket prosthetic. This surgery usually aims to help patients who have osteoarthritis. However, it usually does not work for patients with severe arthritis experiencing bone loss or for patients with rotator cuff issues. Now the newer, reverse shoulder replacement technique replaces the joint in a reverse position, putting the socket on the end of the humerus and the ball on the shoulder blade. This technique makes the surgery an option for a broader range of patients than before. Even patients who had severe shoulder weakness can once again elevate their arms overhead after the surgery.
3D-Assisted Surgical Planning and Customized 3D-Printed Surgical Guides
Recent advancements in digital technology have enabled surgeons to take advantage of 3D planning tools to help a wider scope of patients. Now, with 3D-assisted surgical planning tools, surgeons can formulate a plan for their surgical approach to ensure that the procedure itself is perfectly optimized for the intended patient. Not only does this give each patient a personally tailored surgical plan, but it also enables surgeons to perform the procedure virtually, even before any incision is made, and ultimately reduces surgical time.
Another new, leading-edge technology for shoulder replacement surgeries are 3D-printed surgical guides which are enormously beneficial for both the surgeon and patient. Using these tools, a doctor can create a custom surgical guide personalized to each patient, which helps the surgeon improve and adjust the placement and size of the components to maximize the surgical outcome for the patient.
Heal@Home Same Day Joint Replacement
At Bucks County Orthopedic Specialists, we offer a very specialized joint replacement option for a limited number of qualifying patients. This program, the Heal@Home Same Day Joint Replacement, enables patients who have undergone surgery to go home on the same day and recover in the comfort of their own home. With the help of certified home health nurses and therapists, you can avoid the hospital stay and accelerate the recovery process after your total shoulder replacement.
Let Our Orthopedic Surgeons Help You
When utilized correctly, these surgeries can be life changing. Patients who previously suffered from chronic pain, low range of motion, and joint discomfort now enjoy a much more enjoyable way of living.
Our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained orthopedic surgeon, Kieran Cody, MD, can help with your shoulder problems. Serving the Central Bucks and Montgomery County areas, Dr. Kieran Cody is the leading shoulder replacement surgeon at Doylestown Hospital, where he performed over 100 replacement surgeries in 2018. His extensive experience with this procedure has been instrumental in delivering exceptional outcomes.
One patient, Carol Reinhart, wrote a note of gratitude to Dr Cody, saying, “Thanks for doing such a good job. I know two people who had their surgery done by others when I did and they still have to use their right hand to raise their left arm!” Carol’s replacement was a success and restored a wide range of movement to her shoulder joint: “There really isn’t anything I can’t do with it, [including] raking leaves, shoveling snow, and lifting 40-pound bags!”
If you are experiencing discomfort and a limited range of motion in your shoulder due to arthritis inflammation, or other issues, our team wants to help.
Contact Bucks County Orthopedic Specialists to discuss your surgical options with our orthopedic surgeons today!