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. Most of these problems are quite minor and can be treated easily. The main problems include:
- loosening of the replacement parts
- fracture of the bone during or after surgery
- poor healing of the wound
- wound haematoma (bleeding)
- damage to nearby nerves causing temporary or, rarely, permanent loss of function.
Your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss the risks with you in detail before you decide to have the operation.
In most cases, infections can be cleared up with tablets or injections of antibiotics. For a more serious infection you may need another operation to treat the infection and replace the components.