Roughly 9 out of 10 shoulder replacements last for 10 to 20 years. There are various reasons for its failure. The bad news is that 20 percent of the 50,000 shoulders replaced throughout the United States fail either immediately after surgery or up to 15 years at the most. The reason for the failure is that the plastic glenoid socket either wears out or becomes loose.
When the failure of shoulder replacement is due to a defective design, the patient has a case against the manufacturer. The website of Williams Kherkher revealed that over the years there has been an increase in the number of shoulder replacement lawsuits. In shoulder replacement surgery, the top of the humerus and the shoulder blade is replaced by a surgeon. The new components are held together by cement or by made a material that enhances the growth of a new bone.
While majority of procedures are generally successful, failures may still happen. Some of the factors that may cause the failure of a replacement surgery include:
- Infections. Post-surgery infections may cause the removal of shoulder prosthesis. Once treated, the patient may be eligible to get another implant.
- Prosthetic misalignment or loosening. When the implant is not sufficiently secured to the bone or not well aligned to the other parts of the shoulder, it may result to the misalignment or loosening of the prosthetic.
- Bone Fracture. Post-surgical fracture may require a second shoulder surgery.
These factors can all cause severe pain and disability and may result to shoulder replacement revision surgery. In this procedure, the prosthesis is removed and replaced in order to reduce the risk of complications. Compared to other procedures, shoulder replacement revision generally takes a longer time and is more complicated than initial procedures. The complexity of revision surgery makes the risk of complication higher.