Just like a Hip or a knee replacement, a Shoulder Replacement replaces the damaged joint surfaces with an artificial joint (Prosthesis). The joint is opened at the front of shoulder using a 10-12cm skin cut. Generally, I do this procedure with GA supplemented with an interscalene block to help with pain relief following your surgery.
The primary aim of the surgery is to reduce the pain in your shoulder. After surgery, you will hopefully have more range of movement and improved function.
There are 2 types of Total Shoulder Replacement: Anatomical and Reversed. For the standard total shoulder replacement to be done, your rotator cuff should be in good functional condition. If not, you will need either a reverse shoulder or a hemiarthroplasty (replacing only the ball but not the socket).
Like with any other joint replacement, risks for a Shoulder Replacement include infection, bleeding, stiffness, dislocation, nerve damage, fracture and DVT. The probability of any of these complications happening is less than 10%. Like with other joints, Shoulder replacement will loosen out over a long period of time and may need to be revised.