Shoulder Replacement

New shoulder, new lease on life

What is shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacement surgery, also known as total shoulder replacement or shoulder arthroplasty and reverse total shoulder replacement, replaces a damaged or worn-out shoulder joint with an artificial implant.

This procedure can treat severe shoulder pain and stiffness caused by conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, rotator cuff tears and shoulder fractures.

During the procedure, the surgeon removes the damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic parts. Shoulder replacement surgery can effectively relieve pain, improve range of motion and restore function to your shoulder.

Who's a candidate for a shoulder replacement?

You may be a candidate for shoulder replacement surgery if:

  • your shoulder is severely damaged
  • pain medication, lifestyle changes and therapy haven’t been successful

Talk to your doctor to learn more about shoulder replacement surgery and if it’s the right treatment option for you.

What to expect in a shoulder replacement

Before the treatment

  • Your health and any conditions should be well-managed before surgery. You may need to lower your A1C if you have diabetes, quit smoking or improve your nutrition.
  • Preparation before surgery can take three to six months to allow time for these lifestyle changes.
  • Arrange for a family member or friend to be your "coach" and stay with you for the first week after surgery.

During the treatment:

  • Surgery takes one to two hours.

After the treatment:

  • Your shoulder will be in an immobilizer for the first six weeks. It looks like a sling and keeps your arm and shoulder in place, which helps your shoulder heal and reduces pain.
  • Discomfort may last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Pain medication and following your rehabilitation plan will help relieve pain, stiffness and swelling.
  • You'll see your surgeon one to two weeks after surgery. They'll assess your healing and determine when you can begin working with a physical therapist.
  • You'll work with a therapist to help you regain motion and build strength.
  • It may take six months or longer for you to return to full activity.

Benefits of shoulder replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery can greatly improve your function and quality of life by:

  • reducing pain and stiffness
  • stopping your bones from rubbing together
  • improving range of motion
  • letting you return to activities you love
  • helping you return to work
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Personalized for your needs

Your journey begins with a consultation so we can better understand your condition and goals.

We'll work together to tailor a treatment plan for you, which may include ruling out nonsurgical treatments before deciding on a surgical approach.

And we'll track and evaluate your pain and functionality throughout your care with us to watch and celebrate your progress.

Top-notch expertise and support

Our highly skilled, fellowship-trained surgeons and specialists have extensive training and experience in orthopedic treatments. Our entire team works hard to make sure you have the support you need to navigate your procedure and recovery.

Convenient access

Our teams perform shoulder replacement surgeries at locations across South-Central Pennsylvania. Apple Hill Medical Center, our extensive medical campus in York, offers a broad range of services all in one location.

Leading-edge tools and technology

We use the latest advances in total joint care, including surgical techniques and clinical protocols.

You'll also enjoy access to convenient online features such as on-the-go health resources, a full library of health topics and your MyWellSpan portal.