One of the most common questions for people considering a shoulder replacement is: “How long will it last?” For people with severe shoulder arthritis, a shoulder replacement can provide predictable pain relief and improvement in quality of life and function.
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which means magnets and radio waves are used to create images of the structures within the body. This sophisticated imaging technology allows your shoulder surgeon to look inside the shoulder joint and diagnose problems without having to do any invasive procedure.
The pain caused by a rotator cuff injury is usually felt as a dull ache deep within or on the side of the shoulder. It can disrupt your sleep and prevent you from performing routine activities of daily living, particularly activities that require overhead reaching. You may also experience muscle weakness along with the shoulder pain. Relieving the pain and restoring shoulder strength will depend on the extent of the rotator cuff tear.
According to research statistics, nearly 500,000 rotator cuff surgeries and 50,000 total shoulder replacements are performed in the US alone every year. As the likelihood of shoulder injury increases with age, these numbers are expected to keep increasing in the foreseeable future.
Any type of surgical incision will result in the formation of a scar. It is a natural part of the healing process which includes inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling of tissue. In general, the larger the incision, the greater the amount of scarring you can expect to occur.
A research study conducted on professional female tennis players who underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery found 100% of the participants were able to return to professional play after the procedure. Another study on middle-aged tennis players averaging around 51 years of age showed that almost 80% were able to return to tennis after rotator cuff surgery.
Research studies indicate that recovery from a sports injury in a 40-year-old is about 15% to 18% slower when compared to a 30-year-old. If you belong to Generation X - those born in the mid-1960s to early 1980s - you may be able to personally testify to this fact. This isn’t to say participation in sports is out of the picture. You just have to play smarter, not harder.
Opioids (e.g. Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycodone) are often used to treat pain after orthopedic
surgery. However, they can have substantial side effects including nausea, constipation, itching,
and unfortunately addiction or even overdose. More and more efforts are being made to limit the
need for opioids after shoulder surgery.