Total shoulder replacement is surgery which replaces the bones of the shoulder joint with artificial joint parts.

The most common reason for needing a shoulder replacement is osteoarthritis, which causes a deterioration of the joint. Other causes are rheumatoid arthritis and trauma to the joint.

Arthritis and trauma can cause pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness in the joint, decreased activity and an impaired lifestyle, including an inability to sleep or use that shoulder. The goal of total should replacement surgery is to provide pain relief, enhancement of movement and mobility and improved quality of life.

During total shoulder replacement surgery, the surgeon replaces the damaged shoulder joint by resurfacing the bone ends of the arm bone and shoulder blade, capping with metal pieces and placing plastic in between to ensure support, flexibility and motion, without the pain.

A variety of designs of shoulder joints are available, including one used for partial shoulder replacement that is as simple as replacing only the humerus head or top of the arm bone. The appropriate size and design is based on the patient's condition, age, weight, activity, and health.


After surgery, supervised physical therapy will continue for about 3 months. After about 6 months, you should be able to return to full activities.