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Shoulder Surgery

While shoulder joint replacement is less common than knee or hip replacement, it is equally effective in relieving pain symptoms. When nonsurgical treatments, such as medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy, are no longer helpful for relieving pain, you may want to consider shoulder replacement surgery. The orthopedic surgeons at Jordan Valley are highly trained and specialize in shoulder surgery.

Shoulder Surgery, an Effective Solution for Many Conditions

If you suffer from one or more of the following shoulder conditions, shoulder surgery may be a solution for relieving your pain symptoms and improving your range of motion:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Traumatic arthritis
  • Ligament, tendon or muscle tears, including rotator cuff tears
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
  • Bone fractures
  • Osteonecrosis (removal of dead bone tissue)

Benefits of Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder surgery offers several life-enhancing benefits:

  • Relieves pain symptoms
  • Improves joint function and range of motion
  • Strengthens shoulder

Risks of Shoulder Surgery

As is the case with all types of surgeries, shoulder surgery involves risks. Complications from surgery may include anesthesia problems, blood clotting, infection, nerve injury, device issues, etc. Always consult with a physician before committing to any type of surgical procedure to learn about specific surgical risks.

What to Expect Before Shoulder Surgery

You may be required to undergo a medical examination and pre-surgical tests to determine the severity of your shoulder condition, if there is any loss of space between shoulder bones, and if any bone spurs are present. Tests may include blood tests, heart checks, X-rays and diagnostic images of the affected area. Diagnostic testing may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), and/or discography, a procedure in which dye is injected into the disc and further X-rays or CT scans are taken. These tests help a surgeon determine

The surgeon will also review any medications that you are currently taking, and will outline what medications you should continue to take until the procedure. You will also be instructed to not eat or drink anything for a certain number of hours leading up to the procedure. You may also meet with an anesthesiologist to discuss your options.

What to Expect During Shoulder Surgery

Similar to the hip, the shoulder is considered a “ball and socket” joint. In shoulder surgery, an orthopedic surgeon determines what part(s) of the shoulder are damaged and can perform specific procedures to only replace affected segments of the joint. There are four common types of shoulder surgery:

  • Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery: During shoulder replacement surgery, an orthopedic surgeon removes all of the affected joint surfaces and replaces each with artificial units. The “ball” is replaced with a highly-polished metal ball attached to a stem, which are affixed to the upper arm bone. In addition, the “socket” portion is replaced with a medical-grade plastic socket, which is affixed to the shoulder blade.
  • Stemmed Hemiarthroplasty: During this type of surgical procedure, an orthopedic surgeon only replaces the “ball” portion of the shoulder joint with a highly-polished metal ball attached to a stem. This procedure is applicable for patients with healthy “sockets”.
  • Resurfacing Hemiarthroplasty: During this type of surgical procedure, an orthopedic surgeon preserves as much of the patient’s bone as possible and only replaces the surface of the “ball”, without adding a stem or resurfacing the “socket”.
  • Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery: During this type of procedure, an orthopedic surgeon replaces both the “ball” and the “socket”; however, the “ball” portion is attached to the shoulder blade and the “socket” is affixed to the upper arm bone. This type of procedure is most effective for patient suffering from completely torn rotator cuffs and severe arthritis.

An orthopedic surgeon will work with you to determine which procedure is most advantageous for your condition. On the day of surgery, you will arrive at Jordan Valley and be admitted into the hospital, where you will change into a hospital gown. You will be brought to the Surgical Department and will be placed under general anesthesia. Once the surgeon has completed the procedure and is satisfied with the position and movement of the new shoulder joint, the incision will be closed, and you will be relocated to a recovery suite where you will be closely monitored by an experienced team of health care professionals.

What to Expect After Shoulder Surgery

Following shoulder surgery, you will remain at Jordan Valley for one to two days for continued close monitoring (hospital stays may vary by patient and procedure). You may be encouraged by our team of physical therapists to rotate your new joint within a day following surgery.

The physical therapy team may also recommend additional movements and exercises to maintain flexibility and mobility in your new shoulder. The more you adhere to these recommendations, the faster your recovery process. The surgeon and/or physical therapy team will also provide you with guidelines as to what types of movements/activities to avoid (no driving for first couple of weeks, weight lifting limitations, limited arm movements, etc.). Common recovery period ranges between 6 and 8 weeks, but may vary by patient.

Choosing a Shoulder Surgeon

Choosing a qualified surgeon is just as important as the decision to have surgery. When choosing a surgeon for a procedure as important as a shoulder procedure, you want to make sure that you are in good surgical hands. At Jordan Valley, the medical staff consists of several experienced, highly specialized shoulder surgeons:

For more information about our shoulder surgery services, please contact us.


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3580 West 9000 South
West Jordan, Utah 84088