Summer Fun in RecoveryShoulder pain can be debilitating and significantly impact your quality of life. Pain can be caused by a variety of factors such as wear and tear over time, a shoulder injury, or a medical condition such as osteoarthritis. While many individuals attempt to manage their pain with physical therapy or medication, sometimes these treatments aren't enough.

If you're considering shoulder replacement surgery, you're not alone. In recent years, the number of patients opting for shoulder replacement surgery has increased exponentially. But many patients still aren't sure if a total shoulder replacement is the right call for them.

At Pinnacle Surgical Orthopedics in Nashville, TN, Dr. Kaminsky utilizes leading-edge arthroplastic technology from Lima to perform minimally-invasive shoulder replacements. The Lima SMR shoulder replacement implant is designed to provide long-lasting relief from pain and dramatically improve shoulder function following shoulder replacement surgery.

So, how do you know when it's time for shoulder replacement surgery? Here are some basics on how arthroplasty works, as well as six signs to look for when deciding if shoulder replacement surgery is right for you:

Understanding Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, meaning that it uses a round ball-shaped top of the humerus and a rounded socket in the shoulder blade for movement. This way, the upper arm bone fits into the shoulder blade and rotates in several directions, allowing for a wide range of motion.

Unfortunately, this same versatility in a healthy shoulder can cause the joint to become damaged over time or due to an injury, leading to debilitating pain and poor function in the shoulder.

Shoulder replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, is a replacement of the damaged joint with an artificial joint. Shoulder replacement surgeries involve removing the ball from the top of the humerus and replacing it with a new artificial joint The socket in the shoulder blade may also be replaced with an artificial socket.

Types of Shoulder Replacement

Depending on the specifics of your condition, there are different kinds of shoulder replacement surgeries available:

  • Total shoulder joint replacement, or total shoulder arthroplasty, is the most common type and involves replacing both the ball and socket with artificial components.
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement is another option for severe joint damage that can't be improved with regular physical therapy or medication. In a reverse shoulder replacement, the roles of the ball and socket are switched, allowing the deltoid muscle to take over some of the duties of the rotator cuff.

At Pinnacle Surgical Orthopedics, Dr. Kaminsky and his team utilize the Lima SMR shoulder replacement implant for all of their total shoulder replacement procedures. In combination with Dr. Kaminsky's innovative, minimally-invasive surgical techniques, Lima's leading-edge technology provides better outcomes for patients than traditional total shoulder replacement.

When Is It Time for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

  • 1. You experience chronic pain

    Persistent shoulder pain that restricts your everyday activities is one sign that it's time to consult with a doctor. If shoulder pain prevents you from sleeping or limits your ability to move or participate in activities, it's time to consider a shoulder replacement.

  • 2. Conservative treatments aren't effective

    Physical therapy, medication, or other conservative treatments work for many patients who have suffered a serious shoulder injury, such as a rotator cuff tear, or chronic shoulder joint damage, like an arthritic shoulder. However, if the pain in your shoulder joint persists even after trying these therapies, it may be time to consider shoulder surgery.

  • 3. You have difficulty lifting or carrying objects

    If you have difficulty lifting or carrying objects or have lost strength in your arm due to pain in your shoulder joint, it's time to have a serious conversation with your doctor about surgical options, including total shoulder replacement.

  • 4. You have a limited range of motion

    Persistent shoulder pain can lead to a loss of motion and flexibility over time. If you're experiencing a limited range of motion in your shoulder joint, it is time to ask your doctor about total shoulder replacement to regain your functional mobility.

  • 5. You have tried cortisone shots without relief

    Cortisone shots are a common treatment for shoulder pain. However, if you've tried multiple rounds of cortisone shots and still have significant pain, it may be time to consider a total shoulder replacement.

  • 6. You have osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions

    Osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint conditions are among the most common reasons for total shoulder replacement. Shoulder arthritis can cause severe pain and mobility issues over time, which can be addressed effectively with total shoulder replacement surgery.

    If your joint damage is severe and interferes with your daily life, your doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery to provide pain relief, reduce inflammation and increase joint mobility.

Visit Nashville's Top Shoulder Orthopaedic Surgeons

If you're experiencing shoulder pain, it's crucial to consult with a qualified orthopedic surgeon about your options. Dr. Kaminsky at Pinnacle Surgical Orthopedics in Nashville, TN is available to help determine if a shoulder replacement is the right choice for you. Many of his patients are able to go home the same day as their surgery and experience a significant reduction in their pain levels. He is well known for his team's excellent patient care and compassionate, individualized approach to shoulder replacement surgery.

If you're ready to get started on your road to recovery, don't wait another day. Request your first appointment with Dr. Kaminsky and the team at Pinnacle Surgical Orthopedics today.