If you visit an orthopedic doctor with arthritis of the shoulder (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis), severe shoulder fracture, or some other painful condition that is not getting better with nonsurgical treatment, the odds are very high that your orthopedic surgeon will recommend you shoulder replacement surgery after a thorough evaluation.
Like any other major surgery, shoulder replacement also requires advanced planning, which helps ensure successful outcomes. An orthopedic doctor will give you some time to prepare for shoulder replacement surgery’s physical, psychological, and social aspects.
Let’s talk about what things your orthopedic doctor would like you to consider before and after the shoulder replacement procedure and where you can go in Johnson County, KS, for effective shoulder replacement surgery.
Before Shoulder Replacement Procedure
Take Into Account Your Overall Health. Once you and your surgeon have decided that replacement surgery is the option you want to consider, it’s important to determine if you are healthy enough to have the surgery and complete the recovery process. For this, a complete physical exam is performed several weeks before surgery. If you have a chronic medical condition like heart disease, make sure to get yourself thoroughly evaluated by a specialist, such as a cardiologist.
Ask About Your Medications and Anesthesia. Talk to your doctor about your current medications, especially if you are taking blood thinners, arthritis medications, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Your doctor will likely advise you to stop taking these meds before surgery. Also, make sure to speak with your anesthesiologist and know about the type of anesthesia that will be used for you.
Get in Shape for the Surgery. People who are in better physical shape before surgery experience fewer complications. So, get yourself ready for the surgery by following simple rules:
- Cut down on smoking
- Eat healthy and nutritious food
- Do not consume alcohol
- Do not abuse drugs
- Lose your weight; if you’re obese
- Strengthen your body with exercise and physical therapy
- Wear a splint, if you were advised to
Plan for Homecoming. To make your recovery period easier, make changes in your home. Place necessary items on lower shelves so that they are easier to reach. Also, ask a friend/ family member to come over to help you with a few daily tasks like dressing, bathing, cooking, and laundry after surgery. If you don’t have support, make arrangements to stay at the rehabilitation center until complete recovery.
After Shoulder Replacement Procedure
Pain Management. Post-op pain is a natural part of the healing process, which your doctor will control with medications. Typically, they recommend a combination of opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local anesthetics that you must consume to manage your pain. Also, it’s advised to stop taking opioids as soon as your pain improves.
You may also have to take antibiotics for several days to prevent infection.
Rehabilitation. To shorten your recovery period and get the best out of your surgery, plan your rehabilitation program, which usually involves physical therapy sessions and at-home exercises. Rehabilitation programs also help eliminate pain and get your strength back more quickly.
At-Home Care. Be prepared to follow some at-home care tips that your surgeon will recommend. Those may include:
- Wear your sling for 2 to 6 weeks post-op
- Care for your wound to prevent irritation and infection
- Limit your activities like driving for 2 to 6 weeks after surgery
- Don’t put weight on your arm and lift anything heavier than glass
- Follow your at-home exercise program.
Your complete shoulder recovery can take anywhere from 9 to 12 months, so do visit your doctor for a follow-up appointment during this period.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Johnson County, KS
Not sure if you need replacement surgery for your shoulder problem? Visit us at Midwest Orthopaedics. Our board-certified, highly skilled orthopedic doctors will evaluate your condition and recommend a suitable treatment plan that may or may not include surgery. If you are a candidate for replacement surgery, they will guide you through the entire process until full recovery.