Shoulder joint replacement surgery

Replacing your damaged shoulder joint

A surgical procedure to reduce shoulder joint pain after other methods of treatment have been exhausted

About shoulder surgery

Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The ball should move freely in its socket. If it is damaged by injury or worn away it can become painful and stiff. Your consultant may recommend shoulder joint replacement surgery if non-surgical options like physiotherapy and medication aren't working.

Need to know

  • What happens during a shoulder replacement? icon plus

    Your surgeon will access your shoulder joint by making a cut, usually down the front of your shoulder. Depending on the type of replacement you need, your surgeon will either replace just the ball, or the ball and stem, with a metal or plastic one.

    After completing the replacement your surgeon will close the cut with stitches or clips and cover the area with a dressing. The operation usually takes around two hours, depending on its complexity. You will either be under general anaesthetic or you'll be given a regional anaesthetic, where you remain awake with the shoulder completely numbed.
  • How to prepare for shoulder surgery icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how best to prepare for your surgery and answer any questions you may have. If you're having general anaesthetic, your consultant will tell you know long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand.

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.​
  • After surgery icon plus

    You will be given painkillers to combat any pain you may experience immediately after surgery. Depending on your general level of fitness, you may need to stay in hospital for between two and five nights.

    You should be able to use the arm that was operated on to start doing simple activities such as eating, dressing and bathing within two weeks of surgery. You should be able to drive after a further four weeks.

    Your consultant will let you know exactly when you can get back to normal activities, including work or exercise.

Paying for medical treatment

You don’t need health insurance to have fast access to our top consultants, extensive range of treatments, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures at our world-class facilities.

Our shoulder consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in shoulder and upper limb conditions including elbow problems, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex shoulder surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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