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Total Shoulder Replacement


To alleviate pain from shoulder arthritis with good tendon/muscle function


Surgery type:        

Open surgery


General (asleep) usually with a nerve block


Open approach to the shoulder joint- deltopectoral approach

Subscapularis tendon released from the front of the shoulder

Shoulder capsule and soft tissues released to allow dislocation of the humeral head

Osteophytes (arthritic spurs) removed from the head

Ball cut to shape using a specialised jig and power saw

Access to socket with specialised retractors to visualise bone surface

Jig used to guide placement of a guide pin just below centre of the socket

Bone reamers and rasps used to shape the socket to receive plastic socket

Plastic socket cemented in to bone with 4 small pegs

Shaft of humerus (arm bone) opened with metal sound/sizers

When correct size obtained bone shaped to accept trial stem

Trial stem inserted into the humerus- care taken to get rotation of stem in bone

Trial metal head attached to stem to recreate the normal patients anatomy

Head size is crucial to improve stability but reduce wear on the tendons

Stem component is relocated/reduced back in to joint

When component size, rotation and tension acceptable the real stem can be constructed form modular parts

The real prostheses is inserted and reduced

The subscapularis repair is stitched to the humerus exactly where it was released

Soft tissues are closed with stitches

A sling is applied to the arm                        



90-150 minutes


1 (8-15cm- patient size dependent- oblique scar on front on the shoulder   



Wear at night up to 6 weeks. Can remove as comfortable during day from 3 weeks

External rotation as directed by operation note- depends on subscapularis repair



3 months- non contact sports, cycling, jogging, breast stroke

6 months- contact sports

9 months- overhead sports



Sedentary jobs- return as pain allows 1-3months

Manual jobs- may need to adjust activity for up to 4 months



From 8 weeks dependant on pain and ROM

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