Shoulder Resurfacing

Shoulder being the more active joint is more prone to injuries and may also get affected from conditions like arthritis, which results in impaired functioning and related discomforts. The traditional method of treatment for such conditions is shoulder joint replacement however the advances in technology and new researches in medical fraternity bestowed a superior alternative technique, the shoulder resurfacing.

Shoulder resurfacing is a surgical procedure, in which only the diseased part of the joint is replaced rather than the complete joint as in shoulder replacement. It has been experienced that shoulder resurfacing is comparatively less traumatic, less invasive and natural tissue retaining procedure and also reported to be more effective than the conventional shoulder replacement. Other major advantages are better range of movement, no risk of fat embolus or fracture near the tip of bone; restoration of normal anatomy and can be performed even in deformed bones.

Shoulder resurfacing is indicated in people suffering from different conditions including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, rotator cuff or instability arthropathy, and post-traumatic arthritis.

Complications and solutions related to shoulder resurfacing

It has been noted that people with medical problems or those aged 80 and above are at more risk of developing medical complications such as heart attack, blood clot formation in legs and other complications during or after the surgery. These risks can be greatly reduced by using certain anticoagulants and other drugs, before and after surgery.

It has been seen that, shoulder bones of the patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are very fragile and may face complications such as fractures at the tip of humerus bone during surgery. Therefore special implants have been designed to overcome this situation.

Precautions before and after the surgery

Special care for patients is essential before and after the surgery, especially in patients with certain medical problems. Those conditions must be carefully monitored and treated accordingly. In addition, different tests such as blood tests, X-rays of chest, ECGs and many others are done before surgery as per the need and condition of the patient for better results. Surgeons may also prescribe medication rich in calcium and bisphosphonates for improving the bone density in certain patients.

Following the surgery, physiotherapy will be recommended for improving the strength & mobility of the shoulder muscles. Also one should avoid lifting heavy weights at early stage because this imparts more strain on the healing tendons.

Patients can leave the hospital after three days of surgery and all the attached clips are removed from their skin after 14 days. In general patients can restore to their normal activities by 6 weeks after the surgery.