Shoulder replacement surgeries are very common. Over 50,000 patients in the United States get shoulder replacement surgery to regain mobility and shoulder strength. Even though shoulder problems can be fixed by less invasive procedures, there are instances when surgery is necessary. Before getting shoulder replacement in West Orange, get the opinion of a doctor. They will let you know if you are a good candidate. 

 What Makes You a Good Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

1. Age and Weight

Experts advise that patients aged 85 or more look into less invasive treatment options. Even though they can get shoulder replacement surgery, it isn’t a good option unless they are in very good health. The surgery may not be appropriate for obese patients. Your doctor may suggest that you lose some weight before the surgery. 

Generally, there are no specific limits for age or weight. However, older adults and obese patients are at an increased risk of after-surgery complications.  

2. If You Have Arthritis of the Shoulder Joint

This condition mostly affects patients aged 50 or over. It causes pain and stiffness on the shoulder joint. The degenerative condition causes the protective cartilage in your shoulder joints to wear down. If you need surgery for this condition, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication and non-surgical options. Surgery will only be an option if other options fail. Osteoarthritis often requires surgery. 

Who Is Ineligible for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

1. Nicotine Users 

Shoulder replacement surgery may not be a good option if you are a nicotine user. It increases your chances of getting post-surgical complications. Tobacco users are likely to require revision surgery. Nicotine slows down healing. 

2. Irreparable Rotator Cuff Injury

Shoulder arthritis goes hand in hand with rotator cuff damage. However, rotator cuff damage is not always reparable. In the case of severe rotator cuff damage, shoulder replacement surgery is not always possible. 

3. If You Have Severe Osteoporosis

Severe osteoporosis causes your bones to be brittle. Your bones may be too brittle to support the prosthesis. Shoulder replacement surgery may be a good option if you have mild or moderate osteoporosis. However, your surgeon may need to make certain adjustments. 

4. If You Have Nerve Damage

If you have nerve damage, shoulder replacement surgery may not be a good option. If the nerves from the spinal cord to your arm, hand, or shoulder are damaged, your doctor may advise against surgery. 

5. Infection

Having an infection could make you ineligible for surgery. Non-surgical options may be a good option if you have a predisposition to infections, skin issues that increase your risk of infection, and systemic infections. 

6. Inability to Follow Instructions

Patients who may be unable to follow pre or post-surgical instructions may not be eligible for surgery. If, for example, you have dementia, your doctor may suggest non-surgical options.  

If you need shoulder replacement surgery, consider getting the opinion of an experienced attorney first. They will let you know if surgery is a good idea depending on your general health and needs. 

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Are You a Good Candidate for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?," in Medicalopedia, May 17, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8889/are-you-a-good-candidate-for-shoulder-replacement-surgery/].