Shoulder replacement surgery is beneficial to people who experience severe pain in the joints that prevents them from completing their normal activities, such as getting dressed, reaching or toileting, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Before recommending replacement surgery, doctors usually try less invasive treatments to bring relief.
Surgeons have performed shoulder replacements in the United States since the 1950s. Initially, they used the procedure to replace fractured joints. However, they slowly began using it as treatment for other painful conditions such as arthritis, indicates the AAOS.
After surgery, patients find the shoulder does not have the same range of motion as before the shoulder problems began, according to WebMD. Surgeons often recommend patients avoid certain activities that increase the pressure on the replacement joint. However, the replacement may allow the patient to resume other activities that he stopped because of shoulder pain, including swimming, golfing and riding a bike.
Patients who are 60 or older usually find that the joint lasts the rest of their life. However, WebMD indicates that younger patients may require a second shoulder replacement as parts wear with use. Avoiding physical labor and play that puts additional stress on the joint helps increase the time before a second replacement is needed.