Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I had to have a total shoulder replacement because of a bad shoulder fracture. I'm pain-free but now I can't raise my arm past eye-level. Can anything be done about this?

Answer:

Joint replacements are wonderful but they aren't 100 per cent perfect yet. In the case of a serious fracture with bone loss, it may be impossible to restore the normal length of the humerus (upper arm bone).

A change in the length of the bone alters the way the muscles pull to move the arm. Sometimes during the operation, muscle tension is changed: the muscle tensioning can be too much or not enough.

These kind of problems are more likely with a humeral fracture or tumor. It may be referred to as an inferior instability. The best way to find out what to do is go back to your orthopedic surgeon. An X-ray and examination are needed to find out what's causing the problem. You may be a good candidate for a rehab program but further surgery may also be the answer. Kamal I. Bohsali, MD, et al. Complications of Total Shoulder Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. October 2006. Vol. 88-A No. 10. Pp. 2279-2292.

*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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