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Going for shoulder surgery

Shoulder Joint Replacement = Shoulder Arthroplasty

If you are considering shoulder joint replacement surgery or shoulder arthroplasty [ar-throw-plas-tee], this page may contain some helpful information.

Although shoulder replacement is less common than hip or knee replacement, it is a very successful surgery. The success depends upon;

  1. the condition and quality of the bone.
  2. the type and severity of arthritis.
  3. the condition of the muscles around the shoulder.
  4. age, activity level, overall health.
  5. your commitment to shoulder exercises after surgery.

How can shoulder replacement surgery (shoulder arthroplasty) help?

Will I have pain?

After initial pain from the surgery subsides, you should not have any chronic pain as a result of the implant.

Are there any Complications?

As with any surgery, there is always a risk of complications. Infection, dislocation, postoperative fractures and glenoid component instability are the most common complications in shoulder implant surgery. However, advances in surgical techniques and prosthetic technology innovations are helping to reduce the occurrence of complications.


Insurance coverage is provided for this surgery. Ask your insurance provider for more information.

What does the surgery involve?

Meeting with the Orthopaedic Surgeon:

The surgeon will perform an orthopedic exam for assessment of pain level and range of motion.

Weeks Before Surgery:

If you live alone or have special needs;

24 Hours Before Surgery

Morning of Surgery

During Surgery

A small incision is made over the front part of the shoulder – (4-8 inches long from the collarbone to the point where the deltoid muscle is attached to the upper arm bone. )

Surgeons take great care to avoid tearing muscles or injuring nerves and blood vessels. The implants come in a variety of sizes and the surgeon fits the prosthesis to the patient.

After Surgery

The hospital stay is generally 1-3 days and you will go home with the arm in a sling. A physical therapist will guide you through your exercise routine to be performed at home.

Recovery and Return to ACTIVITY

At Home:

The Bandage Dressing:

The Shower:


DISCLAIMER: This web site contains general medical information and does not replace the medical advice of your physician. If you have questions about your medical condition or exercises, ask your doctor or health care provider.