More and More People Are Benefitting From Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The combined effects of demographics and technology are motivating a dramatic increase in the number of shoulder replacement surgeries, according to a new report from Loyola University Medical Center. Increasing numbers of aging Baby Boomers are seeking to relieve pain and restore functionality to their arthritic shoulders, and institutions including Loyola Medicine are responding by increasing their capacity to perform total and partial shoulder joint replacements. According to Diane Salazar, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and recent addition to the Loyola team, replacement surgery can enable many patients to return to their activities of choice, including swimming, golf, and weight lifting. “A total shoulder replacement can be a grand slam. I’ve had patients who told me they wished they had undergone the surgery five years earlier.”

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that the number of partial and total shoulder replacements increased nationally from around 18,000 in 2000 to over 45,000 in 2013. The AAOS states that the procedure equals the effectiveness of more commonly performed hip and knee replacement surgeries in relieving joint pain. Total shoulder replacement involves replacing both joint surfaces with a polished metal ball and plastic socket; partial replacement, or hemiarthroplasty, involves only the ball surface. The procedure typically requires overnight hospitalization, with full recovery extending some 6 to 10 months.

Read a news story about the reported trend here.



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