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Arthritis Information Search Results

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Arthritis information

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Shoulder and elbow replacement

Shoulder or elbow joint replacement involve the surfaces of the joint being replaced with parts made of metal and plastic. This operation is sometimes called arthroplasty.

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What are the possible disadvantages of shoulder or elbow replacement?

A replacement joint will never be as good as a normally-functioning natural joint; and will have less range of movement. It will wear out over time, but will likely last for at least 10 years.

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What are the possible complications of shoulder or elbow replacement?

As with any operation, a very small number of people may have problems after a shoulder or elbow joint replacement. Problems such as infection, stiffness, pain, or fractures, are quite minor and can be treated easily.

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What are the possible advantages of shoulder or elbow replacement?

Shoulder or elbow joint replacement can lead to reduced joint pain, improved range of movement and a better quality of life. It may be several months before you notice the full benefits of the surgery.

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Do I need a shoulder or elbow joint replacement?

You may need a joint replacement if your pain can't be reduced by treatments such as drugs, injections and physiotherapy; and it's affecting your quality of life. Surgery can be carried out to repair fractures close to joints.

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What are the different types of shoulder and elbow joint replacement?

There are several types of shoulder and elbow joint replacements. Discuss your options with your healthcare professionals.

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What are the alternatives to shoulder or elbow joint replacement?

Surgery will only be considered if other treatments haven't relieved your pain. There may also be less invasive surgical options, which might be more suitable than joint replacement.

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How long will my shoulder or elbow replacement last?

There's a very good chance that your shoulder or elbow joint replacement will last for 10 years. After this time, it may loosen and wear out. A second joint replacement (revision surgery) may then be possible.

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Research and new developments for shoulder and elbow replacement

The number of reverse shoulder arthroplasty surgeries has increased dramatically over recent years. It's not clear how long this type of joint replacement lasts, and this is currently being studied.

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What will my recovery from shoulder or elbow replacement involve?

Immediately after your operation you'll be given some form of painkiller and have any drips and drains removed. Your recovery will also involve some physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Most people are able to leave hospital within 2–3 days.

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How should I prepare for shoulder or elbow replacement?

Being well prepared for your surgery will help you mentally, and help to ensure things go smoothly. Make sure you get answers to key questions from your hospital team before-hand.

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Looking after your new shoulder or elbow joint

After an elbow replacement or a total shoulder replacement, you should avoid lifting heavy loads to help make your new joint last.

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Which parts of the body are often affected by work-related joint disorders?

Symptoms of work-related joint disorders usually affect the arms and shoulders, back, hips or knees.

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Hand therapist

Hand therapists are occupational therapists or physiotherapists who have done further training to specialise in treating conditions affecting the hands, arms and shoulders.

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Leigh Badham's story

Leigh took on this epic challenge in 2015 - find out why here.

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Growing up with arthritis

Arthritis is rarely associated with teenagers, yet it can be particularly severe in adolescence and lead to long-term joint damage. As Arthritis Research UK opens the first-ever centre dedicated to adolescent rheumatology, Phillipa Williams talks to young people who are living with the disease.

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Coping with fatigue

There may be times when your energy levels are lower than you'd like and you experience fatigue. There are positive steps you can take to help yourself have more energy and feel rested.

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Manipulative therapies

Manipulative therapies include chiropractic and osteopathy and they're used mainly for back, neck and joint problems including sports or repetitive strain injuries.

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What is a work-related joint disorder?

If you feel pain or other symptoms when making a particular movement, you may have developed a work-related joint disorder.

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What causes work-related joint disorders?

Problems may arise from the nerves, the muscles or the sheaths that cover them, but may also be related to having more supple joints than usual.

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