Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Mercer-Bucks Orthopaedics, in conjunction with Mercer County Surgery Center, now offers total shoulder and reverse total shoulder replacement surgery in the outpatient setting.
What is outpatient shoulder replacement surgery?
Outpatient shoulder or reverse shoulder replacement is a new pathway for certain, select patients to be able to undergo shoulder replacement surgery in the ambulatory surgery center and be discharged home the same day.
How do I know if I need a total shoulder replacement?
You will know you need a total shoulder replacement once you have failed all conservative measures, continue to have a diminished quality of life, have been evaluated by an experienced shoulder replacement surgeon and then have decided along with your surgeon that it is the best option for you.
What is the difference between a total shoulder replacement and a reverse total shoulder replacement?
A traditional shoulder replacement imitates the normal anatomy of your shoulder. A plastic cup is attached into the glenoid (shoulder socket), and a metal ball is attached to your humerus (upper arm bone). In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the parts are reversed. The metal ball is attached to the socket and the plastic cup is attached to the upper end of the humerus.
How do I know which replacement I need?
A traditional shoulder replacement candidate has failed all conservative measures such as physical therapy, medications, injections etc. Their main problem is shoulder joint destruction, such as seen with arthritis.
A reverse shoulder replacement candidate would only consider a reverse shoulder replacement if you have a compromised rotator cuff that would not support a conventional shoulder replacement, a failed conventional shoulder replacement or a fracture that required a reverse shoulder.
Who is a candidate for outpatient replacement surgery?
Outpatient shoulder replacement surgery should only be performed on patients who are healthy enough to be a candidate for this surgical setting. Patients with significant medical problems should not undergo shoulder replacement in an outpatient setting. Patients also need to be comfortable with the idea of going directly home on the day of surgery and have an appropriate living situation and an appropriate home support system to be available to help them after the surgery.
Is the surgery itself different?
There is no difference in the surgery itself when shoulder replacement is performed in the outpatient setting. A more strict protocol for pain control is what differentiates outpatient shoulder replacement from traditional shoulder replacement performed in the hospital. Further, a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team, including specialized nursing staff, anesthesiologists and physical therapists are necessary to safely complete outpatient surgery. All of these are now available through Mercer Bucks Orthopaedics and Mercer County Surgery Center.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages?
The major advantage of outpatient joint replacement is that there is no need for a hospital stay, which could lead to a decreased risk for hospital acquired infections, as well as increase in overall patient satisfaction. Further, rapid recovery programs have been shown to decrease complications such as blood clots after surgery. Some possible disadvantages include the possible need for admission to the hospital if a complication occurs at home, or difficulty with postoperative pain management at home. However, in most available studies, the outcomes for outpatient joint replacement patients have been overwhelmingly positive with extremely low complication rates and very high patient satisfaction.
How about the day of surgery?
On the day of surgery you would be greeted in the morning by surgical staff members, including a highly-trained nurse that will be by your side from start to finish. Then you will meet with your surgeon for any additional questions before surgery as well as your anesthesiologist. The surgery will be performed and you will be transferred to the recovery area where your nurse will monitor you until you are ready to leave the center. Once you and your nurse agree that you are ready, you will be discharged home. Most patients are ready to go home within 4-5 hours after they arrive at the Center.
How can I find out if outpatient shoulder replacement is right for me?
If you are interested in outpatient shoulder replacement, want more information, or want to see if you are a candidate, come visit any of the shoulder replacement specialists at Mercer-Bucks Orthopaedics. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and see if this pathway would be right for you!