Total Shoulder Replacement


Shoulder replacement, or shoulder arthroplasty, is a procedure performed to remove damaged bone of the shoulder and replace it with a prosthesis composed of metal and polyethylene. In this procedure, both the ball of the humeral head and the socket of the glenoid are replaced. Most often, disease such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis cause severe damage to the bones of the shoulder and necessitate this procedure.


First, an incision is made across from the front of the shoulder to the middle of the collar bone, to the middle of the arm bone. Once inside, scar tissue that is responsible for limiting movement is removed.

Next, the upper end of the arm bone is cut using a saw. The bone cut from the arm may be used as a graft to aid in placement of the prosthesis. The shoulder blade is then prepared for placement of the prosthesis. The first prosthesis is inserted at the upper end of the arm bone where it was previously cut. The second prosthesis is placed in the shoulder socket.

The prosthesis may be set using a type of cement.