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Standard Shoulder Replacement When is the right time

54Shoulder

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Hi Everyone
I am a 53 year old male and have been in need of a total shoulder replacement for the last 10 years. My doctor has recommended "kicking the can down the road" with the surgery and I am reaching the end of my rope. His reasoning is the lifetime of the prosthetic and my age which would mean I need a second replacement around 65. I would be grateful to hear your advice on when is the right time to finally do the surgery and all that is associated with life after. I have very limited mobility, extreme pain, and have learned to cheat through life without a right shoulder. I am however still relatively active (hike 5-6miles daily, bike ride 30-50 miles weekly) although everything hurts so I can't run anymore.
Some of my questions for those who have had the surgery is:
1-at what age did you do it?
2-any complications?
3-what is mobility like afterward?
4-how long has your shoulder replacement lasted?
5-Have you needed additional surgery?
6-Do you recommend waiting longer even even considering the pain and mobility issues?

I thank you in advance for you advice.
 

djklaugh

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@54Shoulder Welcome to BoneSmart :welome:.
1- I have had both shoulders replaced - Right one at age 66 and Left at age 70.
2-No complications with either one.
3- Mobility takes a while to reach fullness after surgery but now both have excellent mobility and strength (well as much strength as a 74 yo little old lady can be expected to have). The only things I can not do are the crawl stroke when swimming(can't get a smooth over the head around and down motion) and (does not apply to you) hook a bra behind my back (I think the surgeries made each arm a bit shorter than they use to be).
4-Right shoulder now is almost 8 years old and left is almost 4 years old. My surgeons for each shoulder said I could expect the implants to last 20+ years.
5-No additional surgeries have been needed so far.
6- I had both replaced through my HMO insurance. The criteria for shoulder replacement I was told was "severe pain and dysfunction that had not responded to any other treatment" (ie- physical therapy, steroid injections). When I had each done I'd met all the criteria. Pain was waking me at night and was pretty constant at level 6 or above (on a 1 to 10 scale). Could not lift arm much higher than my waist.

So, No I would not recommend "kicking it down the road". If you are having increased pain and increased dysfunction find another surgeon for a second opinion - preferably one who does lots of shoulders and who treats patients not yet considered elderly! It does seem to me that the surgeon you have seen is a bit old school about shoulder replacements.

Best of luck to you and do let us know how you are getting on.
 

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