Select language: EN | CH | BH |

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

What Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery, also known as shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that replaces the damaged or diseased portions of the shoulder joint with artificial components (prostheses). These replacements are typically made of metal and plastic and may involve either the ball of the humerus or both the ball and socket of the shoulder joint. Shoulder replacement is typically performed to restore shoulder function, alleviate pain, and improve mobility for individuals with severe shoulder joint damage.

In general, shoulder replacement is recommended when conservative treatments, such as physiotherapy and medication, have proven to be insufficient. This procedure is commonly performed to treat various conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, avascular necrosis, and rotator cuff tear arthropathy.

What Are the Types of Shoulder Replacement?

  • Total Shoulder Replacement

    – This procedure involves replacing both the worn-out or diseased humeral head (ball) and the glenoid (socket). The ball is replaced with a metal ball attached to a stem and the socket is fitted with a synthetic plastic component that closely resembles the natural shoulder anatomy.
  • Partial Shoulder Replacement

    – Also called hemiarthroplasty, this procedure replaces only the damaged portion of the humeral head or ball of the shoulder joint. This involves the implantation of a metal ball prosthesis while leaving the healthy or minimally affected glenoid or socket intact.
  • Reverse Shoulder Replacement

    – This procedure involves replacing both the ball and the socket with reverse implants. The metal ball is attached to the shoulder blade, while a synthetic plastic socket is attached to the upper arm bone (humerus). This procedure is typically performed for patients with severe rotator cuff injuries or other complex shoulder conditions.
Take the first step to regaining strength and mobility in your shoulder.
Book an appointment with us at 6253 7111 to diagnose your shoulder pain and receive personalised treatment.

How to Prepare for a Shoulder Replacement Surgery

  • Medication Adjustments – In some cases, your surgeon may recommend temporarily discontinuing certain medications (such as blood thinners) before the procedure.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments – You may be advised to quit smoking prior to the procedure, limit excessive alcohol consumption, and maintain a healthier weight.
  • Fasting Before Surgery – Your doctor will provide detailed fasting instructions in order to ensure a smooth and safe surgery.

How Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery Performed?

Shoulder replacement surgeries are performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon will begin by making two or three small incisions on the front or side of the shoulder, exposing the damaged joint. Specialised instruments are used to carefully remove damaged or diseased bones or cartilage, which includes the humeral head (ball) and the glenoid (socket).

The artificial components, consisting of a metal ball and a plastic socket, are then inserted into the shoulder joint. The ball component is attached to a stem that extends inside the patient’s humerus, and the socket component is fixed to the shoulder blade (scapula).

After the implant placement, the incision is closed using sutures or staples, and sterile dressings are applied to the incision site.

Achieve Lasting Relief with Shoulder Replacement.
Schedule a consultation with our surgeon at 6253 7111 for personalised advice.

Recovering From Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Following the procedure, the patient will be transferred to the recovery area for several hours, where their vital signs will be monitored as they recuperate from the effects of anaesthesia. They will also be given pain medication and advised to wear a sling to stabilise the arm and shoulder initially.

Other post-surgery guidelines will be given, which include:

  • Physiotherapy – A physiotherapist will design a customised exercise programme that aims to strengthen the shoulder muscles and improve the range of motion of the joint.
  • Activity Restrictions – Patients are advised to refrain from performing repetitive overhead movements or activities that may strain the shoulder joint, such as lifting heavy objects. They will be advised on proper body mechanics and the use of assistive devices where necessary.
  • Maintaining Shoulder Health – Avoid activities that place excessive stress on the shoulder joint. One may also incorporate regular low-impact exercises, such as swimming or walking, for overall joint health.
  • Regular Follow-up Appointments – Attending your follow-up appointment with your surgeon is vital to monitor your recovery progress, address any concerns, and ensure proper healing.

Possible Complications of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Although generally safe and effective, shoulder replacement surgery carries potential risks; although they are rare in the hands of an experienced surgeon. These include:

  • Infection – This may occur at the incision site or within the deeper tissue and cause redness, swelling, increased pain, and fever.
  • Blood Clots – These can form in the large veins of the leg. In rare cases, a clot may break and travel to the lung, which will require immediate medical attention.
  • Implant-related Issues – Over time, the artificial shoulder joint may experience wear and tear. In some cases, additional surgery may be necessary to replace or repair the implants.
  • Nerve Damage – During shoulder joint replacement surgery, nearby nerves surrounding the implant can sometimes be injured.
  • Dislocation – This can occur when the ball is detached from the socket, requiring closed reduction or surgery to reduce or revise the implant.

It is essential for patients to discuss concerns with their surgeon, follow post-operative instructions, and attend their follow-up appointments to minimise the risk of complications and ensure optimal recovery.

Our specialist is skilled in a range of shoulder pain treatments, including shoulder
replacement surgery. Make an appointment with us at 6253 7111.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shoulder Replacement Surgery: Enhancing Mobility

Shoulder replacement surgery aims to enhance mobility and reduce discomfort in individuals suffering from conditions such as severe arthritis or irreparable shoulder joint damage. By replacing damaged parts of the shoulder joint with artificial components, This procedure aims to restore functionality. Schedule a consultation with us today!