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Total Shoulder Replacement

What is it?

Total shoulder replacement surgery (arthroplasty) helps restore comfort and function to a shoulder that is damaged by arthritis.  In shoulder arthritis the joint surface is deystroyed by wear and tear, inflammation, or other injury.  This can make the shoulder stiff and painful.

When arthritis has damaged or destroyed the shoulder joint it can be replaced with a metal ball and plastic socket.

The goal of shoulder replacement surgery is to restore function and decrease pain and stiffness. 

Before shoulder replacement surgery your physician will try other options such as activity modification, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications.  Sometimes this alone will make the symptoms tolerable.  After all non-operative options have been exhausted your physician will recommend a total shoulder replacement.

After surgery

Your physician may place the arm in an immobilizer for 24 hours.  Then the immobilizer is removed and you will be instructed on shoulder exercises.  Typically you will need to perform these exercises twice a day.  It may take up to a year to completely recover strength and function.