Is there an Alternative to Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

The shoulder joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. Due to the ball and socket joint, it provides a greater range of motion more than any other joint in the body. However, cartilage in the shoulder may break down as we age or extensively use the joint—which is otherwise known as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis results in a lot of pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, which often leads patients turning to shoulder replacement surgery for relief.

What is Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

There are two common types of shoulder replacement surgery: anatomic shoulder replacement, and reverse total shoulder replacement.

The anatomic shoulder replacement will replace the ball of the shoulder joint with metal. The socket is replaced with specialized plastic that is cemented into place. The bad cartilage is then removed and resurfaced.

With a total shoulder replacement, the original structure of the shoulder is reversed. The purpose of this is to allow the deltoid muscles to gain most of the control for moving the shoulder.

Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery Worth it?

Shoulder replacement surgery can be an effective solution to help relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis. It is often the last option to consider when exercise, medication, and physical therapy do not alleviate the pain.

However, there are some key points to remember when you’re considering shoulder replacement surgery:

  • Shoulder replacement surgery can help manage pain, but it is unlikely that you will regain full range of motion
  • Your artificial shoulder will last between 10 to 20 years
  • If the artificial joint wears out, you may have to consider shoulder replacement surgery in the future
  • You’ll likely need several months of physical therapy to help with moving your new shoulder

Alternatives to Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Recent advancements in medicine have presented new alternatives to shoulder replacement surgery. Advanced Regenerative Medicine uses innovative technology to help your shoulder joint repair itself without the need for surgery. This involves an injection and stem cell therapy for the shoulder joint, with the end goal of dramatically reducing pain and regaining full range of motion in the shoulder.Regenerative medicine is changing the way that patients manage shoulder pain from osteoarthritis. If you’re looking for alternatives to shoulder replacement surgery, contact ARM to further discuss your options to avoid surgery with regenerative medicine.