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Home : Specialty Care : Orthopedics : Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Orthopedic Program

Meriter Hospital, 9 Tower
202 S. Park Street
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 417-5365

Learn more about our Orthopedic specialists.

Many people struggle with pain and loss of motion because of joint damage caused by arthritis. Joint replacement should be a final step in treatment but it is fairly common.

Signs You Know You Are Ready for Shoulder Replacement

  • Patients who have tried the usual non-surgical treatments for shoulder arthritis, but have not been able to find adequate relief.
  • Patients considering the procedure should understand the potential risks of surgery, and understand that the goal of joint replacement is to alleviate pain.
  • Patients generally find improved motion after surgery, but these improvements are not as consistent as the pain relief following shoulder replacement surgery.

Shoulder Surgery Approaches

Traditional Total Shoulder Approach
Total shoulder replacement surgery alleviates pain by replacing the damaged bone and cartilage with a metal and plastic implant. When shoulder replacement surgery is performed, the ball is removed from the top of the upper arm bone (humerus) and replaced with a metal implant.

Reverse Total Shoulder Approach
One of the newer procedures is a reverse total shoulder replacement. In the healthy shoulder, the upper arm bone (humerus) ends in a ball shape. This fits into a socket formed by the shoulder blade (scapula). Together this ball and socket form the shoulder. With the Reverse Shoulder Prosthesis, the anatomy, or structure, of the healthy shoulder is reversed. The implant is designed so that the ball portion is attached to the scapula and the socket is placed at the upper end of the humerus.

Results of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Most people have much less pain after shoulder replacement surgery and are able to do many of their daily activities more easily.

  • The shoulder will not move as far as it did before you started having shoulder problems. But the surgery will allow you to do more of your normal activities without pain.
  • After surgery, you may be allowed to resume activities such as golfing, riding a bike, swimming, walking for exercise, dancing, or cross-country skiing, if you did these activities before.
  • Your doctor may discourage you from doing things that put a lot of stress on the joint.

Our goal is to restore our patients' active lifestyles. Typically, patients who have had shoulder replacement surgery return to normal daily activities quickly.