Over 50,000 Americans have shoulder replacement surgery each year, and this number is growing. The shoulder is the third most commonly replaced joint after hips and knees. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is the most common reason for shoulder replacement surgery. Over time, wear and tear to joints can result in severe pain and decreased range of motion. Rheumatoid arthritis, rotator cuff tears, fractures and other injuries can also cause pain and restricted movement, and may sometimes be treated with a shoulder replacement as well.
The need for shoulder replacement surgery in patients with arthritis is based on how effective pain relief with medications, injections, hot, cold, and other conservative treatments has been, as well as how well patients are able to do their ADLs, or activities of daily living. Frequently patients will have pain sleeping on it at night, weakness, and/or difficulty getting dressed, performing personal hygiene, and reaching things in overhead cabinets or on shelves. If you experience any of these, you should have a thorough evaluation of why you are having the symptoms. They can be caused by arthritis, or by other disorders including soft tissue injuries, which might have different treatment options. There is no “one size fits all” cure when it comes to shoulder pain.
As a shoulder specialist, Dr. Betsy Nolan at the Oklahoma Shoulder Center can evaluate your shoulder problem and discuss with you the wide range of treatment options available, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each and give you a good idea of what you could expect if you chose each option. Usually, all reasonable non-surgical options are offered first. Depending on the cause of your shoulder pain, surgical options can range from minimally invasive surgical repair, done arthroscopically, to a full shoulder replacement. It is also important to consider your activity demands and goals when deciding upon a treatment option.
Choosing an orthopedic surgeon is not always easy, but those surgeons who are fellowship trained in shoulder reconstruction can give you a full spectrum of options to consider. Give us a call at 405-278-8006 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nolan to discuss your treatment options. We look forward to serving you.
By Oklahoma Shoulder Center PLLC
June 1, 2021