Shoulder Replacement (Total And Reverse) Specialist

Austin Shoulder Institute

Orthopedic Surgeons & Shoulder Specialists located in North Austin, Austin, TX & Austin, Cedar Park, TX

Dr. Graham and Dr. Szerlip are top-rated orthopaedic surgeons in North Austin, TX, and the surrounding region, providing total and reverse shoulder replacement surgeries using the most advanced techniques for optimal function of the joint.

Total and Reverse Shoulder Replacement Q & A

Why might a shoulder joint need to be replaced?

Like other types of joint replacement surgeries, shoulder replacement is considered only when more conservative options have proven ineffective in providing symptom relief for issues like pain, weakness, joint instability and reduced range of motion. These options can include use of medications to reduce pain and inflammation, immobilizing the joint with a sling or brace, and physical therapy or gentle exercise.

How can the doctor determine if my shoulder joint needs to be replaced?

Before joint replacement is considered, the joint will be carefully evaluated through a physical examination and diagnostic imaging like x-ray, CT scan or MRI. A minimally-invasive procedure called arthroscopy may also be used to evaluate the joint using a very small incision and a special instrument in order to rule out other possible interventions or to carefully plan out the replacement surgery.

What is reverse shoulder replacement surgery?

In a “normal” total replacement of the shoulder joint, the artificial joint relies on the rotator cuff to help move the joint, but in some patients with certain types of shoulder issues, the rotator cuff cannot be relied upon for stable joint function. In reverse joint replacement, the new artificial joint relies on the deltoid muscles in the upper back for normal joint function. The type of surgery used in your procedure will be determined based on a complete evaluation of your shoulder joint and the muscles and other tissues that support it and help the joint function properly.

What is recovery like?

Once your joint replacement surgery is complete, you'll need to wear a splint or other supportive device to hold the joint securely during the initial stages of healing. Physical therapy will begin soon after surgery to help stabilize and strengthen the joint. Complete recovery can take several months.

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