Shoulder Joint Replacement
The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint where the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the socket of the scapula (shoulder blade). Stiff, painful shoulder joints affected by arthritis may require replacement. This is done by removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. A prosthetic shoulder joint is made of metal and is designed to function like a normal shoulder joint.
Shoulder joint replacement is an operation that requires approximately 3 days in hospital. It is performed under a combination of general and regional anaesthesia. The operation requires an incision across the front of the shoulder. The damaged surfaces are then removed via this incision and the new artificial joint is inserted and secured. The operation takes approximately 2 1⁄2 hours.
The new joint needs to be protected by a shoulder sling for around 4 weeks. It is important to realize that recovering from a joint replacement takes time and you may require assistance at home until your shoulder strength improves. You will not be able to drive for at least 4 weeks.