A total shoulder replacement surgery, also known as shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that can help relieve shoulder pain and restore function in your joint. During a total shoulder replacement, the damaged areas of the shoulder joint are replaced or resurfaced with artificial materials, such as metal and plastic. 

Your shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, and when damage to structures at or around the ball or socket area results in pain, you may need the joint replaced. A total shoulder replacement will replace the ball portion of your shoulder (the upper arm bone or humerus component) and the socket portion (the shoulder blade or glenoid component). 

When Would a Total Shoulder Replacement Be Appropriate for Me?

The primary symptom that leads to a total shoulder replacement procedure is pain. If you are a candidate for a total shoulder replacement procedure, you may experience:

  • Shoulder pain associated with lifting your arm, carrying weight, or even while resting
  • Shoulder pain when lying down or that keeps you awake when trying to sleep
  • Limited or restricted mobility or range of motion in your shoulder or shoulders

Typically, the shoulder pain and symptoms are too severe to be sufficiently relieved by conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, or injections.

To determine if a total shoulder replacement surgery is the best treatment option for you, your orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your medical history as well as perform a physical examination, X-rays, and other tests, such as an MRI scan. This will allow your surgeon to determine the type and extent of damage to your shoulder joint. A diagnosis of advanced bone spurs and/or shoulder arthritis, or degenerative joint damage, will likely result in a recommendation of shoulder replacement surgery.

Following the evaluation, your surgeon will discuss whether a total shoulder replacement is the best treatment to relieve your pain and improve your function. Additionally, your surgeon will explain the potential risks and complications of a total shoulder replacement procedure based on your needs and goals as well as your shoulder anatomy and overall health.

What Benefits Does Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery Offer?

Following a shoulder replacement surgery, you can expect reduced shoulder pain and improved range of motion. With your new shoulder components, the painful friction and degeneration of structures in your shoulder joint will be eliminated and your function will be restored. 

Because of incisions and adjustment to your new shoulder, you may experience some tightness and occasional aches postoperatively. You should expect to return to your everyday activities with more mobility and reduced limitation.

Why Choose Southern Indiana Orthopedics?

At Southern Indiana Orthopedics, our joint replacement doctors have had additional training in specific joints and procedures. You are in excellent hands with our experienced total shoulder replacement surgeons, Dr. Douglas FederleDr. Matthew Lovell, Dr. Darryl Tannenbaum, and Dr. Eric Tannenbaum. Our shoulder replacement specialists are all board-certified in orthopedic surgery or fellowship-trained in advanced treatments and have the specialized knowledge and skills to treat your shoulder injury or condition individually to meet your needs. 

To consult with our Southern Indiana Orthopedics specialists about your treatment options, please request an appointment online or call (812) 376-9353. Our surgeons are available at our main location in Columbus and at our North Vernon, Seymour, or Greensburg outreach clinics.