Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Total shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the ends of the bones in a damaged or diseased joint. Total replacement of the shoulder will create new joint surfaces in the shoulder.

During total shoulder replacement surgery, one of our shoulder experts will replace your diseased or damaged shoulder bones with a metal or plastic piece that is specifically made for the shoulder. These pieces will be held in place with cement or a material that will allow your new bone to grow over time.

The top of your upper arm is shaped like a ball. Muscles and ligaments hold this ball against a ball against a cup-shaped part of your shoulder. The ball-shaped shoulder bone will be replaced with a long metal piece, which is inserted into your upper arm. If the cup-shaped bone is damaged, it may also be replaced with a metal or plastic piece as well.


You will be able to go home 1 or 2 days after shoulder replacement surgery. You will likely experience some pain after surgery, but pain medication will be prescribed for you to stay on top of the pain. When you leave the hospital, a sling will be provided for you to wear for the first six weeks. Physical therapy begins shortly after surgery to start rebuilding strength in your shoulder.

Additional Information

Following your shoulder replacement procedure, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you should adhere to in terms of postsurgery care, including:

  • Do follow your physical therapy program and perform the exercises two or three times per day
  • Do ask for assistance, especially in the first few days following surgery
  • Do avoid placing your arm in any extreme position
  • Do not push yourself up in bed or from a chair with your injured arm
  • Do not overexert yourself or push yourself too hard
  • Do not lift anything heavy for the first two to until you have been cleared to do so by your surgeon