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Alternative NamesTotal shoulder arthroplasty; Endoprosthetic shoulder replacement; Partial shoulder replacement; Partial shoulder arthroplasty; Replacement - shoulder; Arthroplasty - shoulder
Definition Return to top
Shoulder replacement is surgery to replace the bones of the shoulder joint with artificial joint parts.
Description Return to top
You may receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This means you will be unconscious and unable to feel pain. Or, you may have regional anesthesia. Your arm and shoulder area will be numbed so that you do not feel any pain in this area. If you receive regional anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to help you relax during the operation.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The round end of one bone fits into a cavity, or socket, at the end of another bone. This type of joint allows you to move your arm in most directions.
For total shoulder replacement, the round end of your arm bone will be replaced with an artificial stem that has a rounded metal head. The socket part of your shoulder joint will be replaced with a smooth plastic shell (lining) that will be held in place with a special cement. If only 1 of these 2 bones needs to be replaced, the surgery is called a partial shoulder replacement.
For shoulder joint replacement, your surgeon will make an incision (cut) over your shoulder joint to open up the area. Then your surgeon will:
Your surgeon may place a drain in this area to carry out fluid that may build up in the joint. The drain will be removed when you no longer need it.
This surgery usually takes 1 to 3 hours.
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
Shoulder replacement surgery is usually done when the joint is badly damaged and there is pain or loss of motion. Causes of damage include:
Risks Return to top
Risks for any anesthesia are:
Risk for any surgery are:
Risks of shoulder replacement surgery are:
Before the Procedure Return to top
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
After the Procedure Return to top
You may stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days after your surgery. While there, you may receive physical therapy to help keep the muscles around your shoulder from getting stiff. Before you go home, the physical therapist will teach you how to move your arm around by using your other (good) arm.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Shoulder replacement surgery relieves pain and stiffness for most people. You should be able to do most of your normal daily activities without much problem. Many people are able to return to sports such as golf, swimming, gardening, bowling, and others.
Your new shoulder joint will last longer if less stress is placed on it. With normal use, most people’s new shoulders last for at least 10 years.
References Return to top
Azar FM, Calandruccio JH. Arthroplasty of the shoulder and elbow. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 8.
Goldberg VM, Kraay MJ. Surgical treatment of joint diseases. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 299.Update Date: 2/9/2009 Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.