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Know All About Different Types Of Shoulder Replacement Surgeries

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Know All About Different Types Of Shoulder Replacement Surgeries

Orthopedics & Joint Replacement | by Dr. Rakesh Rajput | Published on 02/02/2023

Shoulder replacement surgery has been a reliable treatment method for dislocated joints for years. Be it shoulder arthritis or any joint-related injury, avoiding the symptoms can cause long-term health issues. Shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure to repair the damaged parts of the none and replaces them with implants. Since joint injuries are one of the most common causes of shoulder damage, it is important to seek early treatment for improved quality of life.

This blog contains information about the different types of shoulder surgeries. In case you are looking for the best shoulder replacement surgery, consult an orthopedic doctor near you. Please note that this blog is only for informational purposes and does not replace the significance of a doctor’s consultation.

When Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery Required?

Shoulder replacement surgery offers relief from pain and discomfort due to joint dysfunctions. Patients with frequent complaints of joint pain in the shoulder mostly benefit from the procedure. Shoulder replacement can be done due to different reasons, either in case of an injury, a medical condition, etc. If your medical condition is chronic, you can discuss your symptoms with the doctor to choose the most effective procedure.

Once the diagnostic test reports confirm damaged joints in the shoulder, the doctor recommends treatment options for effective outcomes. Shoulder joint replacement surgery can be done to treat a medical condition, or in case of a joint injury and trauma. You may have to undergo shoulder replacement surgery in case of the following -

  • Experiencing severe shoulder pain which hampers your everyday activities like getting dressed, lifting things over your head, etc.
  • Medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory disorders
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Severe pain that prevents you from getting a good sleep
  • Fractures
  • Loss of motion and weakness in the shoulder
  • When medications like anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections, and physical therapy are ineffective against the pain

What Are The Different Types Of Shoulder Replacement Surgeries?

Shoulder replacement surgery is done to replace the natural bone in the ball and socket of the shoulder joint. The implants are usually made of metal or plastic depending on the type of joint and procedure. The surgeon may recommend the following types of procedure for shoulder replacement -


  • Hemiarthroplasty - Hemiarthroplasty is classified into two types - resurfacing hemiarthroplasty and stemmed hemiarthroplasty. In stemmed hemiarthroplasty, the surgeon may only replace the ball. The head of the humerus is replaced with a ball and stem. The procedure is usually recommended in case of severe fracture in the humeral head but the socket is normal.

On the other hand, resurfacing hemiarthroplasty for shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the joint surface of the humeral head with a cap-like prosthesis, without a stem. The doctor may recommend resurfacing hemiarthroplasty if -

  • Intact cartilage surface in the glenoid
  • No fresh fracture of the humeral neck or head
  • Preference to preserve humeral bone


  • Anatomic Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery - One of the most common types of shoulder replacement surgery. The surgeon replaces the arthritic joint with a polished metal ball attached to the stem on the humeral side. Total shoulder replacement is recommended for people with osteoarthritis, inflammation in the bones, etc.


  • Partial Shoulder Replacement - In partial shoulder replacement surgery, the surgeon only replaces the ball of the joint. This procedure is usually recommended for patients when only the ball of the joint is damaged.


  • Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement - Patients who undergo reverse total shoulder replacement surgery are often experiencing the following 
    • Completely torn rotator cuffs with severe weakness in the arms
    • Chronic symptoms of severe arthritis and rotator cuff tearing
    • History of unsuccessful shoulder replacement surgery

During this procedure, both the ball and socket are replaced and the implants are reversed. The metal ball is attached to the shoulder bones and a socket is implanted at the top of the arm. Discuss your condition with the doctor for an effective treatment.

Conclusion: Long-Term Outlook Of The Shoulder Replacement Surgery

A successful shoulder joint replacement surgery usually depends on several factors such as the medical health of the patient, the type of procedure, and the surgical expertise of the surgeon. While medications and therapies are effective in managing the symptoms related to shoulder pain, surgical procedures ensure long-term health benefits.

Modern shoulder replacement surgeries offer several advantages over traditional procedures. Also, most patients, do not require physical therapy post-surgery but, in some cases, outpatient physical therapy may be required. Here are some advantages of choosing modern shoulder replacement procedures over traditional surgeries -

  • Minimally invasive surgery that includes keyhole incisions
  • Less duration of surgical procedure
  • Minimal postoperative pain and discomfort
  • Almost zero chances of post-surgical complications
  • The normal function of the shoulder joint is completely restored
  • Significant issues related to mobility and range of motion are improved



1. Can you lift weights after shoulder replacement surgery

No, it is generally not advisable to lift weights or engage in heavy exercises after shoulder replacement surgery. However, if you have to, consult the doctor before returning to the gym.

2. What is the duration of shoulder replacement surgery?

The OT time of shoulder replacement surgery varies depending on the type and severity of the condition. The surgery approximately lasts two hours but it can vary depending on the surgical experience of the orthopedic surgeon.

3. Are there any complications of shoulder replacement surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery rarely causes any complications depending on the severity, medical health of the patient, and type of surgery. Here are some complications of shoulder replacement surgery -

  • Infection
  • Dislocation
  • Nerve injury
  • Prosthesis related problems

4. How long does it take to recover from shoulder replacement surgery?

Patients who undergo shoulder replacement surgery can resume their daily routine within a week. However, it is important to consult the doctor to avoid complications after the surgery. Recovery time can vary and so you must consult the doctor before resuming driving, gymming, etc.

5. Is total shoulder replacement surgery painful?

No. Shoulder replacement surgery is a minimally invasive method where the patient is given anesthesia before the procedure. This sedates the patient throughout the surgery and ensures no pain. However, you may feel slight pain and discomfort after the surgery as the effect of anesthesia wears off. Though, that can be managed with prescribed medication.