Thoughts on shoulder repalcement

When I was playing college football I eventually reached the point I couldn’t lift my arm enough to put it in the window of my car while I was driving so I went to the team doctor and discovered that I had arthritis, bursitis, in both shoulders and they both hung 1/4-1/2" out of their sockets. He tightened my capsule up and told me that I would eventually need to have surgery again since this would only be temporary. The surgeries worked and for 3 years I had normal shoulders and then came the slow decline.

Now I’m 11 years from my first surgery and I can barely move my arms again so I went to see the best shoulder guy in town. He told me that I have bone spurs the size of this thumb and he’s not sure if I had any cartilage left, we’re doing an MRI next week to find out. While he was going over my options he told me that if I was 65 he’d recommend a total shoulder replacement for both shoulders unfortunately I’m 31 and so he’s unsure of what to recommend until he gets the MRI back. At this point the two options on the table are a shoulder scope to clean up the bone spurs and other ratty things in my shoulder or to get a partial shoulder replacement where the ball gets ground down and capped.

I’m really not excited for the scope since he says it will probably be a 10 year fix at best and he can’t guarantee how much mobility I’ll get back and how much pain it will alleviate. Three good years followed by 7 progressively harder years doesn’t sound like a good deal to only be back where I am today. On the other hand he said that the partial shoulder replacement will have the most longevity and the second best pain relief (total would be best) but the doctor has concerns about me needing multiple shoulder replacements over the years since he say it will still only have a 20 year life time so I’d be looking at replacement at 30, 50, 70 and hopefully 90.

I’ve got 2 weeks before I get the MRI results but I’d like have a better understanding of my options before I go back to discuss things with my doctor. Any stories or knowledge you can pass on to me?

You’re looking at multiple replacements either way. I would go with the partial since it has a longer cycle and you indicated you would have better function.
And 20 years from now, maybe the tech will be good enough that you will only need one more .

Can I get a passing mod to correct my typo in the title?

I was thinking about the tech improvement too but I was thinking that maybe the leap comes in the next 10 and I could get the super shoulder before I get the regular replacement. I’m also slightly concerned that today’s replacement could prevent me from getting a different style replacement in the future.

By the way I’ll be asking my doc all of these questions the next time I see him I’m just trying to make sure I know what to ask.