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Shoulder Replacement

Although shoulder joint replacement is less common than knee or hip replacement, it is just as successful in relieving joint pain.

Over the years, shoulder joint replacement has come to be used for many painful conditions of the shoulder, such as severe fractures and arthritis.

If nonsurgical treatments like medications and physiotherapy are no longer helpful for relieving pain, you may consider shoulder joint replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain and help you resume everyday activities.


Your shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle). The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint: The ball, or head, of your upper arm bone fits into a shallow socket in your shoulder blade. This socket is called the glenoid.

The surfaces of the bones where they touch are covered with articular cartilage, a smooth substance that protects the bones and enables them to move easily. A thin, smooth tissue called synovial membrane covers all remaining surfaces inside the shoulder joint. In a healthy shoulder, this membrane makes a small amount of fluid that lubricates the cartilage and eliminates almost any friction in your shoulder.

The muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder provide stability and support.

All of these structures allow the shoulder to rotate through a greater range of motion than any other joint in the body.


In shoulder replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial components, called prosthesis. The treatment options are either replacement of just the head of the humerus bone (ball), or replacement of both the ball and the socket (glenoid).