Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find answers to many of your questions about total shoulder replacement. Learn how it’s done, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, surgery and recovery.
Discover the typical out-of-pocket costs HCF members can expect to pay for total shoulder replacement surgery and learn how your choice of surgeon and hospital affect that cost.
What is total shoulder replacement surgery
Total shoulder replacement is surgery to replace the damaged ball and socket joint in your shoulder.
How's it done?
Total shoulder replacement involves removing and replacing the damaged surfaces of the ball and socket joint. This can be done with a metal ball and a plastic (polyethylene) cup which mimic your normal shoulder joint. The procedure is called anatomic total shoulder replacement. It can also be done in reverse — where the ball is attached to your shoulder and the cup is attached to your upper arm bone (humerus). This is called reverse total shoulder replacement. The reverse procedure is now more common.
Where's it done?
Total shoulder replacement surgery is done in a hospital. The average length of stay is 1–2 days.
How long does it take?
It normally takes between about 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the surgery.
In addition to an orthopaedic surgeon, and possibly an assistant surgeon, it also involves:
- an anaesthetist
- a pathologist
- a radiologist (for X-rays)
- a physiotherapist
- an occupational therapist.
CONSIDERING THE PROCEDURE
Non-surgical treatments for shoulder pain
There may be alternatives to total shoulder replacement surgery depending on your condition.
Types of total shoulder replacement surgery
There are different ways to perform total shoulder replacement surgery.
Shoulder replacement prostheses
There are a number of different types of shoulder prosthesis.
Results vs risks of the procedure
The benefits and risks of total shoulder replacement surgery.
Choosing a specialist
How to find an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in this procedure.
Questions for your specialist
What you should ask before going ahead with total shoulder replacement surgery.
Preparing for your procedure
Pre-operative tests and preparation before total shoulder replacement surgery.
Your anaesthetic options
About the anaesthetic and pain relief after your surgery.
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