4 Reasons to Consider Shoulder Replacement

4 Reasons to Consider Shoulder Replacement

There are many painful shoulder conditions, from frozen shoulder to labral tears. But sometimes conservative treatments aren’t successful and the only option is total shoulder replacement surgery, or arthroplasty. 

If you’re contemplating the procedure or have already had it, Empire Physical Therapy is where you can come to heal. We’re dedicated to ridding you of pain and restoring your movement.

At Empire Physical Therapy and Athletic Rehabilitation, physical therapists Billy Reilly, MS, PT, and Paul LaRosa, MS, PT, treat patients suffering from all sorts of shoulder discomfort, whether originating from injury or degeneration.

When is total shoulder replacement advised? 

The ball-and-socket shoulder joint is particularly vulnerable to injury because of its complexity. When your shoulder movement’s limited, you notice it because you can no longer reach up high, throw, or even shrug.

Your orthopedist may have good reason to recommend total shoulder replacement for you. Four top reasons they may urge you to undergo the surgery are:

Conservative treatments haven’t worked

Your pain remains severe and your mobility limited despite conservative treatments such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections.

You can’t perform normal tasks

If your shoulder is so painful and immobile that you can’t handle routine household tasks like vacuuming or stirring while you cook, consider a surgical solution. Ditto for enjoyable everyday activities like gardening and holding a leash while you walk your dog.

The weakness is debilitating

If the muscles in your affected shoulder are much weaker compared to your good one, it may be time to consider surgery.

You suffer from certain conditions or injuries

Osteoarthritis that becomes severe over time can make shoulder replacement the best treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, can progress to the point that surgery is the logical choice. It often causes significant pain that worsens at night, as well as complete shoulder immobility, or frozen shoulder.

Shoulder replacement surgery may be your best option for a serious tear of the rotator cuff (the tendons and muscles that hold your shoulder joint together) as well as a bad shoulder fracture. 

Those who perform repetitive tasks at work or movements over and over again, like athletes, are prone to rotator cuff injuries and disease. 

How can I prepare for and recover from shoulder surgery?

At Empire Physical Therapy, we’re with you every step of the way — before and after your surgery. We can help you prepare with stretches and exercises that can strengthen your shoulder and back muscles. 

After your surgery, we help you as you recover and move toward your new pain-free, active life. Treatment consists of a customized plan that helps you heal and prevent future shoulder joint problems. 

Physical therapy starts just a couple days after your surgery. We help you perform simple daily tasks, such as taking the sling you must wear post-surgery on and off and teach you how to do personal care tasks like dressing yourself. 

Once you establish a relationship with either Paul or Billy, that’s who you see every time you come for an appointment. We believe consistency also supports your healing. 

As you move through your recovery, we introduce you to exercises that build your shoulder strength and increase your range of motion. We lead you through functional training that prepares your new shoulder joint to meet the rigors of daily life, whether that means functioning fully in your home, performing your job, or playing a much-loved sport. 

Contact us so we can create a plan to see you through your shoulder replacement surgery. Call our New York City office at 646-491-9141 to schedule an appointment, or book one online. We’re located in the Midtown East section of Manhattan.

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