A better question than when is the right age to have a shoulder replacement could be why have a shoulder replacement? Regardless of your age, quality of life trumps all.
Common Reasons For A Shoulder Replacement
There are three main reasons to have shoulder replacement surgery.
Arthritis of the shoulder joint is common after age 50. The cartilage in the shoulder joint degenerates leading to osteoarthritis.
The next cause is a serious injury like a fracture. If the head of the arm bone is damaged and it’s damaged so severely that it can’t be restored, replacement may be needed. You could have a partial or total shoulder replacement depending on the damage to the clavicle.
The third cause of a shoulder replacement is due to a rotator cuff tear. If there is an injury to one of the four muscles that surround the upper portion of the arm bone, stability can be compromised. If the tear is not treated and corrected, the combination of arthritis and lack of stability may necessitate a shoulder replacement surgery.
When Is The Right Age To Have A Shoulder Replacement?
Technology has improved the length of time a shoulder implant will remain intact. In most cases today they have a 90% survival rate for 10 years. This percentage actually increases with age to, for example, 95% if you are over age 70. This is due mainly because activity demands decrease with age resulting in less wear and tear as you get older.
For those who are under age 60, the survival rate of the implant is still 88% and between age 60 to 70 the rate is 89%.
When is the right age to have a shoulder replacement? If you wait too long and arthritis continues to progress, that creates more bone deformity and loss of stability. Unfortunately, that can add up to surgical results which are less predictable.
When Is The Right Time To Have A Shoulder Replacement?
Only you know when it’s the right time to have a shoulder replacement and why.
- Are you in consistent pain?
- Does the pain interfere with your activities?
- Do you suffer from moderate to severe pain when resting? Does it keep you awake?
- Have you tried other non-surgical treatments?
If your shoulder pain impacts your quality of life and affects your range of motion, maybe it’s time to consider a shoulder replacement.