Shoulder replacements can restore quality of life

Reach High

If you’re experiencing severe pain in your shoulder and you haven’t found relief through nonsurgical treatments like medications or physical therapy, then shoulder replacement surgery may be an option to consider.

“Shoulder replacement is a very effective procedure,” says Jeffrey Lovallo, MD, Surgical Director, Inova Shoulder Replacement Program. “The doctors in our program perform a high volume of shoulder replacements, so our patients can be assured they’ll get excellent care.”

Shoulder arthroplasty is the third most common joint replacement surgery, followed by knee and hip replacement. Experienced orthopedic surgeons at Inova Alexandria, Fair Oaks, and Mount Vernon Hospitals perform the latest techniques to treat shoulder arthritis, fractures, nerve injuries and rotator cuff problems, allowing patients to return to their normal activities with less pain and stiffness.

What a Pain

Chronic shoulder pain can get in the way of everyday activities. You may find it painful to brush your teeth, drive or even sleep through the night. Shoulder replacement surgery can put you on a path to restoring your strength and range of motion so you can easily return to your daily routine without debilitating pain.

“Patients can return to a variety of activities including weightlifting, golf and tennis,” says Dr. Lovallo. “I had one patient who, following a shoulder replacement, won a senior javelin tournament.”

During the procedure, which takes about an hour, your doctor will replace your shoulder joint with a metal ball and a plastic socket. Most people return home within one to three days. While at the hospital and after returning home, a physical therapist will help you move the muscles around your shoulder to help you regain strength and flexibility.

According to Dr. Lovallo, a shoulder implant can last up to 20 years if performed by a medical team with a high level of expertise.

“We have a lot of experience,” says Dr. Lovallo. “Shoulder replacement is a very technically demanding surgery, and if you want a perfect result, you’ve got to do perfect surgery. That’s what patients can expect at Inova Alexandria Hospital.”

Shoulder Replacement Program

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