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Total Shoulder Replacement

While shoulder replacement is not as common as hip or knee replacement, it works in the same way as other joint replacement surgeries. During the procedure, part of your shoulder joint is removed and replaced with artificial pieces.

Who qualifies for shoulder replacement?

The most common reason for shoulder replacement is damage to the joint due to arthritis. You may also need shoulder replacement after an injury or a severe break in the shoulder. Your doctor may recommend shoulder replacement when other treatment options have not relieved your pain.

What should I expect during shoulder replacement?

The average shoulder replacement surgery takes about two hours. Your surgeon will replace the top of your upper arm bone (humerus) with an artificial stem and ball. Then, he or she will place an implant into the socket part of the joint. Once the new shoulder joint pieces are in place, your incision will be closed.

What is recovery like for shoulder replacement?

You can expect to be in the hospital for at least two to three days after surgery. You’ll start rehabilitation and exercises soon after your surgery—sometimes even the same day. Your physical therapist will show you the best ways to regain movement and strength in your shoulder.

Once you leave the hospital, it’s likely that you’ll need help at home for up to six weeks. This can include having someone drive you, getting help to lift objects, and letting others do tasks that require you to push or pull with your arm.