Shoulder Replacement: Alternative options for arthritis?
I have arthritis in my right shoulder. Range of motion is limited, and physical therapy has not helped much. Are there options short of shoulder replacement surgery? Has anyone had arthroscopic surgery and/or anti-inflamatory injections? For those who have had surgery, how succesful was the outcome in terms of range of motion restored and elimination of pain?
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Joint Replacements Support Group.
Hi @shel99 – Welcome to Connect! You have come to the right place to explore options! I haven't had shoulder issues – my issues tend to center on my knees! But I know some of our members have struggled with shoulder problems. I'm going to tag @edithmiller @seniorsoftball and @mimi99. To see if they might have some insight. Also, not long ago, some of our members were discussing myofascial release so @artscaping or @mrhappy may have some ideas on that. I'm wondering if you can share more about how limited your motion is? What activities can you not perform because of the arthritis? Also, are you in a lot of pain?
Thanks for your message. Regarding range of motion – I can't reach things over my head, or touch my belt behind my back. I'm not in significant pain unless I try and push those limits. I'm concerned about the impact on activities – especially exercise. I don't want this to become a downward spiral. When I do the recomended physical therapy, the next day my shoulder is sore and range of motion is decreased somewhat. It comes back after a day or two of rest.
Hello @shel99, I would like to add my welcome to @debbraw's. While we wait for others who have dealt with shoulder arthritis in the past to join this conversation, I though I would share a few discussions you may find relevant and helpful:
– Shoulder Replacement Surgery, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/shoulder-replacement-surgery-1/
– Reverse shoulder replacement, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/reverse-shoulder-replacement/
@shel99, If you don't mind sharing, and are comfortable doing so, how bad is your arthritis? Are you in the beginning stages, or is it toward end-stage arthritis? I have dealt with end-stage arthritis in both ankles and my right knee that all required surgery or replacement to alleviate the pain, mobility, and joint deformation that result from end-stage arthritis and can relate with the frustrations of swelling after overusing.
Thanks for your response Justin. I believe I'm at the beginning stages. Generally, I don't experience any pain unless I lift my arm over my head, or reach behind my back. X-rays indicated I have arthritis. The reduction in range of motion is somewhat limiting my activities, especially exercise routines. I'm concerned that this will contribute to a downward spiral in strength and mobility. I'm interested in treatments, therapies or medication short of surgery that would help.
Hello @afbong, welcome to Connect. You bring up a lot of different topics in regards to your shoulder arthritis. I would like to invite some members who have discussed each to this discussion. @steeldove, @edithmiller, @farmgirl57, and @mimi99 have all discussed having some sort of shoulder replacement. Other members discussed seeking information for stem cell treatments for shoulder issues, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/stem-cell-therapy-for-rotator-cuff-tears/, although it is unclear if any members have attempted to get stem cells for shoulder issues.
@afbong, I had my right knee replaced when I was 19 due to end-stage arthritis, and even though I was extremely young, the alternatives were no mobility at all (knee joint was completely worn down to a square rather than rounded, so I was unable to walk more than a block) an severe pain. While age is important because of the complications that can arise later, I was told that quality of life has to be weighed as well. @afbong, would you mind sharing what your ortho doctor's concerns are for doing a replacement at your age?
He said that I am still young to have a shoulder replacement. His concern is that it can last 10 or 15 years then it will have to be revised. He said revisions are not advisable.
I am 63, and am planning a shoulder replacement with a reversal in a couple months. This is due to arthritis and a rotator cuff surgery I had years ago that did not go well. My other shoulder is also causing me pain at this time, so my internal medicine doctor feels I will need surgery on that one in the future. It seems ostioarthritis is reeking havoc on my body. I am in pain constantly, and am tired of shots and replacements. I am afraid of the surgery,but I do trust my surgeon. Sometimes it just gets to be a lot. My main problem was crohns disease and the arthritis came along with it as a gift. This all started when I was about 16. How time flies.So far,I have had my right knee replaced, fingers on both hands repaired lots of surgery on my hands and wrists, A knuckle on my right. hand replaced. The pain is better in my hands now. I've hand surgery for a ruptured disc in my back. For years it was better, but now I have degenerative disc disease.Which means lots of shots in my back and neck, and hey I seem to have shrunk! Due to the crohn's, I have no large intestine,and am missing enough of my small intestine that I cannot absorb nutrients from food anymore,so, no eating. I am fed by a catheter that goes to my heart and veins, so by passes stomach.Should have ate more pizza and tacos when I could have. There is more, but I think I have vented enough. Anyhow, I really hope this shoulder surgery is a success. I have a 5 month old grandson I want to be able to play with and push on the swings! Life has been interesting, and I still hope to be here and continue to pursue it. Anyhow, I was interested you who were discussing stem cells? I have not heard of this,and I plan to ask my doctor about this. Any success with this? Thanks for listening.
I have arthritis on both shoulders. My ortho doctor recommended total shoulder replacement. But he said I am still young to have it (56yrs). Have steriods but it does not work. Am always in pain. Someone suggested stem cell. I need advice. Thanks.
Hello @wwill, while we wait for others to chime in, here is a discussion you may find worth your time to look through, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/stem-cell-therapy-for-rotator-cuff-tears/ – It is a discussion on the topic of stem cells for rotator tears and arthritis. You also mentioned a reverse shoulder replacement, here is another discussion on that specific type of shoulder replacement, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/reverse-shoulder-replacement/.
i have used stem cells for arthritis and found it to be useful.