Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

Last month, I had a shoulder joint replacement. I’ve been given specific movements and exercises to do and warned about the possibility of shoulder dislocation. If something is going to go wrong, is it always in the first few weeks?

Answer:

Your shoulder is at risk for damage until the bone, muscles, and other soft tissues heal. The minimum amount of time for this is about six to eight weeks. If you have other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, or thyroid problems, wound healing can be delayed. This is also true if you are a smoker or tobacco user. Failure of a joint implant can occur at any time. A study from the Mayo Clinic reported shoulder dislocation after replacement anywhere from immediately to 11 years later. In any shoulder, a traumatic injury can cause damage. This could be caused by a car accident or falling on an outstretched arm. Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, Md, PhD, et al. Instability After Shoulder Arthroplasty: Results of Surgical Treatment. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. April 2003. Vol. 85-A. No. 4. Pp. 622-631.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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