Shoulder replacement surgery is the same idea as having worn parts
taken out, and new parts installed in their places. In shoulder
surgery, the damaged portions of the shoulder bones are removed, and
the shoulder is replaced with metal and plastic implants. Here's what
you can expect on a typical day of shoulder surgery:
- A small tube (intravenous line) is inserted into your
unaffected arm. This tube is used to administer antibiotics and
other medication during your surgery.
- You're taken to the
operating room and given anesthesia.
- Anesthesia takes
effect, and your shoulder is scrubbed and sterilized with a special
- Your shoulder replacement surgery will likely take
between one and three hours and begins with an incision over your
shoulder to expose the joint.
- Bones are fully visible to
the surgeon, and special, precision guides and instruments are used
to remove the damaged surfaces and cut the humeral head (ball) and
prepare the bone to accept the implant.
- The new implant is
- If your socket is to be replaced, its damaged
surface is smoothed and a new plastic surface is inserted. For a
reverse shoulder, the surface is prepared and the "ball"
- The ball and socket are checked for fit and
- When the surgeon is satisfied, the incision is
closed and covered with dressings.
- A sterile bandage is
- Your arm is put in a splint and may also be wrapped
in an ice pack to help control pain and swelling.
taken to the recovery room, where you will be closely
- Anesthesia wears off, and you slowly regain
consciousness. A nurse is with you and may encourage you to cough or
breathe deeply to help clear your lungs. You’re given pain
- You are fully awake and are taken to your
- Your shoulder remains swollen and tender for
a few days.
of shoulder replacement surgery