Understanding Shoulder Replacement Surgery and How Long it Lasts

It is the most common questions asked when shoulder replacement surgery is presented as a treatment option. “How long does a shoulder replacement last?” A shoulder replacement can last 10 to 20 years be depending on various factors. Before going into those factors, it is important to understand what shoulder replacement is.

What is Shoulder Replacement Surgery Treatment?

Shoulder replacement surgery is done to replace the damaged parts of a person’s shoulder and replaces the damage with artificial components. Shoulder replacement replaces the damage in the humerus bone (ball) or in both areas of the shoulder called the ball and glenoid, or socket.

Many Medical Conditions can Cause a Doctor to Recommend Shoulder Surgery

Numerous medical conditions can cause disability and pain in the shoulder such as arthritis. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition which can cause pain in the shoulder. Other symptoms include fatigue, tenderness in the shoulder joint and weight loss. Cartilage at the end of the shoulder bone disappears causing the bone to rub on the joint. A broken or fractured shoulder is another reason for replacement surgery.

The Longevity of the Shoulder Replacements Depend on Many Factors

Many people needing replacement surgery only want to undergo the procedure one time. That’s why the answer to the question of how the long the replacement last is so important. Many factors can decrease the chances of the shoulder replacement lasting at least 20 years. For instance, a person over 65 years old or older may not have to worry about undergoing another replacement surgery.

The design of the shoulder implant may decrease or increase the longevity of the shoulder replacement. The designs that fit in the glenoid slot will work better than another type of implant device. If the bone does not attach to the shoulder properly, it can cause the need for another shoulder replacement. The devices reply on bone ingrowth. If the device does not attach as the bone heals, another shoulder replacement may be needed.

It is uncommon for a shoulder replacement surgery to fail. However, if the surgery fails it is often because of dislocation, implant loosening, infection or wear and tear. If any other these things occur, a second shoulder surgery is needed. This type of surgery is called a revision surgery.

Deciding if Shoulder Surgery Replacement is the Right Option

Shoulder replacement involves replacing damage in the ball or ball and socket of the shoulder. Many medical conditions will warrant shoulder replacement surgery. For example, an individual with severe arthritis in the shoulder can benefit from a shoulder replacement to get rid of the pain and other symptoms. The most common questions about shoulder replacement is how long it will last. A shoulder replacement can last up to 20 years depending on many factors such as age, how the implant attaches to the bone and implant design. It is important to ask a surgeon about more factors that can minimize the longevity of a shoulder replacement.