Shoulder Replacement Procedure: What Happens During Surgery
During a shoulder replacement procedure, your doctor will remove the damaged portions of your joint and replace them with artificial materials. These damaged surfaces exist at the end of your upper arm bone (humerus), the ball at the end of the humerus, and the curved part of your shoulder bone (scapula) that receives the ball (glenoid.)
The new joint will be held together and moved by the same muscles and ligaments that normally move the shoulder.
Shoulder Replacement - Q & A with orthopedic surgeon
Even in a “total shoulder placement,” your entire shoulder is not actually replaced, but the worn surfaces of bone and cartilage that have been causing you pain are reshaped and new artificial surfaces are created, allowing the joint to move again without pain. The artificial materials usually consist of metal and special plastics. A type of bone cement may be used to anchor the new surfaces to the bone. In some cases, a non-cemented implant, which the bone grows around, may be right for you.
These devices come in different designs, sizes and shapes. While your surgeon may show you samples of these devices, the decision about which to use is made by your surgeon during surgery, to ensure the most ideal fit with your own joint.
- What is a "reverse shoulder replacement?"
- Will my shoulder replacement get rid of my pain?
- How long will my shoulder replacement last?
- Patient Story - Shoulder Replacement
- More Information
What is a "reverse shoulder replacement?"
A reverse shoulder replacement is a fairly new development designed for patients who have had rotator cuff tears that are damaged and cannot be repaired. In this surgery, a new artificial ball is placed in the glenoid space of the scapula, and a receiving socket is made in the head of the humerus. A reverse shoulder replacement will allow movement of the shoulder using primarily the deltoid muscle. For the right patients, this option can help restore motion and relieve pain.
Back to top
Will my shoulder replacement get rid of my pain?
The goal of a shoulder replacement surgery is to end the chronic pain you have been experiencing from the worn and damaged parts of your shoulder joint. There may be pain immediately after surgery, but it will be manageable with pain medication at the hospital. Most patients will ultimately end up with a functional shoulder and be able to resume normal activities and low-impact sports without pain.
Back to top
How long will my shoulder replacement last?
How long an artificial shoulder lasts depends on many factors, including the type of implant used, the surgeon’s expertise and the patient’s physical condition and activity level . Most patients can expect their shoulder replacement to last at least 10 years, but it is important to discuss your specific situation with our surgeon
The younger you are when you have the surgery and the more stress you put on the joint, the more likely it is that you will eventually need a second surgery to replace or repair the first artificial joint.
Back to top
Patient Story - Shoulder Replacement
Back to top
- When to have joint replacement
- Pain after joint repalcement
- Choosing an orthopedic surgeon
- Checklist | Covering the cost of surgery
- Orthopedics at Sutter Health
- Northern California locations