Does shoulder pain interfere with your daily life and the things you want and need to do? Do you ever have severe shoulder pain followed by short periods of relief? Do you experience pain after extensive use of your shoulder – or loss of motion and joint stiffness after periods of inactivity or rest? Does an increase in humid weather cause your shoulder to ache?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s probably time for you to speak to an orthopedist and see what your options are – including shoulder surgery.
Doctors generally try to delay total shoulder replacement for as long as possible in favor of less invasive solutions including medication and physical therapy. However, if those treatments don’t help – and the pain persists – your doctor may recommend surgery.
In order to diagnose your condition and decide if you are a candidate for surgery, an orthopedic surgeon will perform a thorough examination of your shoulder, analyze X-rays, and conduct physical tests to check for strength and range of motion. You’ll also be asked to describe your pain, if you suffer from other joint pain, and if you’ve had any past injuries that may have affected your shoulder.
Should your doctor recommend surgery and you elect to have it, you should know that full recovery can take up to a year or more and does involve extensive therapy. The good news is that the vast majority of shoulder surgery patients are then able to enjoy pain-free shoulder function and successfully return to the activities they enjoy most!