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October 18, 2021  
REFERENCE: Ask an Expert

Below are some of the most-recently-answered questions from our Medical Experts. We recommend you read over these questions as well as search our "Frequently Asked Questions" to see if your question has already been answered.

If you have to have total shoulder replacement how long will the replacement last? What is the youngest patient you have done a shoulder replacement on?

Question submitted by: Jennifer Davis - [email protected]

Dr. Hasan
Dr. Hasan is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in shoulder, elbow, and general orthopaedic problems. Dr. Hasan has received the M.D. degree and a Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering, both from Vanderbilt University. He completed residency training at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago followed by fellowship training at both the University of Washington and the Texas Orthopaedic Hospital in Houston. Dr. Hasan has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented his research efforts at national and international orthopaedic conferences. Dr. Hasan’s areas of interest include: arthroscopic and open surgery of the shoulder, elbow, and knee as well as joint replacement surgery. He currently practices at Cincinnati Sportsmedicine and Orthopaedic Center.

Studies are showing that about 90-95% of shoulder replacements last for ten years or longer, and about 80% last at least 15 years. Follow-up longer than 15 years is largely missing, but most believe that shoulder replacements last at least as long as hip or knee replacements. In addition, shoulder replacements performed by surgeons that perform many of these surgeries are likely tob e more durable than those implanted by the occasional shoulder surgeon. At any rate, it is more difficult to estimate how long a shoulder replacement will last in YOUR shoulder. Younger patients often place greater demands on the shoulder than older patients, so that a replacement may not last as long. We don't know for sure, but some surgeons may attempt other surgeries short of shoulder replacement in young patients with glenohumeral (shoulder joint) arthritis. These options include arthroscopic debridement, and capsular release (to improve motion). As far as the youngest patient - one can consider prosthetic replacement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or avascular necrosis as early as their twenties (if necessary). For post-traumatic (heavy laborers, for example) or post-surgical arthritis, shoulder replacements are rarely performed in patients younger than 35 years old. As in the hip or knee, orthopaedic surgeons will try other options (anti-inflammatories, activity modification, physical therapy, cortisone) before prosthetic replacement is considered.

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