Shoulder Replacement, also known as shoulder arthroplasty or glenohumeral arthroplasty is a surgical term. In this whole procedure, entire or a part of the glenohumeral joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. This type of joint surgery gives relief to severe arthritis pain. It also proves beneficial in fixing the severe and intolerably painful joint damage.

Shoulder Replacement, also known as shoulder arthroplasty or glenohumeral arthroplasty is a surgical term. In this whole procedure, entire or a part of the glenohumeral joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. This type of joint surgery gives relief to severe arthritis pain. It also proves beneficial in fixing the severe and intolerably painful joint damage.


Generally, shoulder joint replacement does not resemble the knee joint replacement. Indeed, the process of shoulder joint replacement stands as a catholicon remedy in relieving the joint pain. Initially, non-surgical treatments like anti-inflammatory medications, associated exercises, practices, cortisone injections, physiotherapy, and similar useful activities or supplements are advised. However, if they prove ineffective, joint replacement surgery act as a safe and effective option. It helps in restoring your healthy lifestyle obstructed due to shoulder or any other form of arthritis pain.


In 1950, the first shoulder replacement surgery was successfully done in the United States of America. Since decades, joint replacement is rendering miraculous outcomes in treating different kinds of shoulder pains, fractures, cracks, arthritis (the condition where protective cartilage lining between the bones is lost) and other such shoulders joint-related conditions.


There are different types of shoulder replacements available based on the patients’ health needs and conditions. It can be easily evaluated through an X-ray. Sometimes, the orthopaedists need to replace the humerus bone, i.e., the ball and sometimes, he needs to replace both the ball and the socket.



Several causes may lead to painful and disabled shoulders. Some highly common causes are:


  • Shoulder dysfunction is usually experienced by older patients (50 and above years of age). The cartilage that stands as a protective cushion between the bones softens and wears away with the advancing age. As a result, bones get rubbed with each other causing pain and stiffness
  • If the person has osteoarthritis, the chances of shoulder dysfunction increases.
  • If someone is suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, then undoubtedly it becomes a potential cause. There occurs a chronic inflammation and thickening of the synovial membrane. It surrounds the joint causing loss of cartilage, pain and stiffness.
  • Any shoulder injuries or fractures that may cause tearing of associated tendons and ligaments.
  • If a patient is suffering from a large rotator cuff tear from a long time, it may develop into cuff tear arthropathy. This condition of rotator cuff tear may lead to arthritis and destruction of the joint cartilage.
  • The obstruction of the blood supply to the bone is a remarkable cause of shoulder replacement. Deep sea diving, severe fractures, sickle cell disease, and heavy alcohol consumption may readily cause Avascular necrosis.
  • Failure of any previously done shoulder replacement surgery could also be a cause.




  • Severe shoulder pain that interrupts regular activities such as dressing, washing, lifting and sleeping.
  • Weakness in the shoulder.
  • Loss of shoulder movement.
  • No reduction in pain even after multiple treatments like anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy.

Treatment options depend on the patients’ cartilage condition.


  • Total shoulder replacement: In this method, the involved surgeons, the concerned assistants (if any) replace the arthritic joint surface with an intensely polished metal ball attached to a stem and a plastic socket. Conventional total shoulder replacement is preferable for patients having bone-on-bone osteoarthritis and intact rotator cuff tendons.
  • Stemmed Hemiarthroplasty: Surgeons choose Stemmed Hemiarthroplasty, instead of total shoulder replacement, when :


— The patient has arthritis, but it only involves the head of the humerus, a glenoid with a healthy and intact cartilage surface.


— Patient has a fragile shoulder bone in the glenoid.


— Patient has a damaged, torn rotator tendon cuff and arthritis.


  • Resurfacing Hemiarthroplasty: It includes replacement of only the joint surface of the humeral head having a cap like a prosthesis without a stem. If the glenoid possess properly intact cartilage surface, and no fracture in the neck-head has recently occurred, then this process is highly effective. It also preserves humeral bone.
  • Reverse Total shoulder replacement: For the patients having torn rotator cuffs with severe arm weaknesses, and severe arthritis, reverse total replacement is preferable. This process involves attachment of metal ball with the shoulder bone and a plastic socket with the upper arm bone. Thus, the deltoid muscle plays a crucial role in lifting the arm instead of the torn rotator cuffs. It is the last option to be tried if the treatments mentioned above do not provide desired results.

1]What does the term “Shoulder replacement” refer to?


Shoulder replacement is a procedure in which entire or only a part of the glenohumeral joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant to relieve arthritis pain and fix severe damages in the shoulder joint.


2] How will I know that I need a shoulder replacement surgery?


If you feel discomfort, severe pain, limited movement of arm and shoulder or you are unable to perform daily activities efficiently, it could be shoulder related concern. Also, if you are not able to seep due to pain and there is no effect of medications, injections or physiotherapy, you should consult a doctor.


3] Are there any risks involved with shoulder replacement surgeries?


Yes, there are some risks and side-effects associated with this surgery:


  • Infection
  • Blood clotting
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Nerve damage
  • Deterioration of blood vessels
  • Postoperative pneumonia
  • Destruction of the shoulder bones
  • Reactions related to usage of general anaesthesia
  • Damage to the shoulder bone
  • Fracture of the upper arm bone
  • Loosening or wearing of the implants.


4] How long do the positive effects last?


As estimated, the shoulder replacement surgery and its effects remain for a period of up to15 years.


5] What is an advisable wearing after hip replacement surgery — sling or braces?


What is an advisable wearing after hip replacement surgery — sling or braces?

Send us your details and we will find the best SHOULDER REPLACEMENT doctors and hospitals for you!





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