Total Shoulder Replacement Preparation
Preparing for total shoulder replacement allows you to ensure you're in the best condition prior to your surgery. Before your procedure, you will meet with your health care provider and be asked about any medications or supplements you are taking. Two weeks before your surgery, your surgeon may ask you to do the following:
- As blood thinners can cause severe bleeding during a procedure, you may be asked to avoid taking blood-thinning medications. This includes ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.
- Stop smoking. Cigarettes contain chemicals that hinder faster bone and wound healing.
- Reduce or stop your alcohol intake.
- Twelve hours prior to your appointment, you may be asked to avoid eating or drinking.
- Inform your surgeon of any allergic concerns.
- If you have any conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, or diabetes, it is advisable to tell your doctor in advance. He will advise you on what to do.
Potential Complications of Total Shoulder Replacement
If performed by an experienced and knowledgeable surgeon, in most cases, total shoulder replacement has good results. However, certain complications may be the result of the procedure. For example, it may cause severe bleeding, wound infection, scarring, blood clots, and allergic reaction to anesthesia medications. Other possible complications may include:
- Glenoid Socket Loosening - This happens when the cement used to attach the artificial joint parts weaken over time. If you have a non-cemented implant you may experience humeral loosening.
- Humeral Fracture - This may result from the impact of the artificial stem attachment.
- Axillary Nerve Injury - Axillary nerves control your shoulder and arm muscles. During the surgery, they may get overstretched.
- Subscapularis Tendon Rupture - This may occur before the shoulder tendon heals fully. It usually results from accidental falls or intense physiotherapy, which strains the tendon.
- Loss of Full Motion Range of the Joint - This is due to stiffness resulting from a poor physical therapy program.
- Damaged Blood Vessel - This is due to cuts made during the surgery.
Seeing a well-trained and experienced surgeon can help limit the complications. A dedicated and competent surgeon will help in reducing the chances of developing complications.