Total Shoulder Replacement: What is it?

Article featured on Orthopaedic Institute Brielle Orthopaedics

Total shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure that treats severe shoulder osteoarthritis that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment options.

At The Orthopaedic Institute Brielle Orthopaedics our Shoulder Specialists have extensive experience and utilize the latest technology in performing shoulder replacement procedures.

The procedure is effective because it removes osteoarthritic bone and cartilage and replaces it with functional metal and plastic components that serve as a “new shoulder”. After recovery and physical therapy, patients experience tremendous pain relief and live normal lives with minimal restrictions.

Important procedure steps are:

  1.  Anesthesia. A Board Certified Anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia so no pain or discomfort is felt during the procedure.
  2. Incision. A small incision is made on the front of the shoulder. Muscles and soft tissues are retracted so the joint can be visualized.
  3. Bone preparation. The head of the humerus (arm bone) and glenoid cavity are carefully cut in preparation of implants.
  4. Trial implants. Trial implants are placed in the shoulder until the perfect size is found. A physical examination confirms the implants fit and the shoulder moves properly.
  5. Permanent implants. Biological cement is placed over the bones and permanent metal and plastic implants are put in place. Once the cement hardens, an additional physical examination is performed.
  6. Incision closure. Sutures and skin staples close the incision and sterile dressings cover it. A shoulder sling is put on to keep the shoulder in a neutral position.

Total procedure time is usually 1 hour depending on osteoarthritis severity and shoulder anatomy.

A short hospital stay is necessary for pain management, infection prevention and physical therapy purposes. In some cases, a partial total replacement (one bone is replaced) or reverse total shoulder (implant positions are reversed) replacement are performed.

It is always best to receive a shoulder osteoarthritis diagnosis as soon as possible. Early treatment relieves symptoms and prevents the chronic condition from becoming worse.

The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, foot and ankle conditions, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic and podiatric surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.



1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

8:00am – 4:30pm

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