Shoulder replacement implants in today’s market are advanced in design and technology. However, they do not last forever.

Why does an implant wear out?

1) It can become loose

2) An infection can develop near the implant

3) The bone can wear away

4) The implant can wear down

Bone cement that bonds the implant to the bone can crack

Fractures can occur in the shoulder bone or in the implant itself

If your shoulder replacement wears out, you may experience stiffness, pain, swelling and the joint may feel loose. Your shoulder and arm may also look out of alignment and may move or hang strangely.

By being aware of the warning signs, you will know when to contact your surgeon to discuss further treatment options, which may include surgery.

Look out for these signs:

1) New or recurrent pains that occur in the shoulder or arm areas

2) Movement of your shoulder and arm that is painful

3) Your shoulder joint becomes stiff and hard to rotate

4) Redness and swelling appear at your shoulder joint

5) The skin over the shoulder is warm to the touch

6) The shoulder seems to be unstable or hard to control

If you have concerns about your shoulder replacement, contact your physician right away. After your surgeon examines your shoulder, he or she may want to take an X-ray or CT scan to assess your situation and determine the best treatment option.

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