The doctor will make a cut through your skin near your shoulder. The large muscles around the shoulder will be pulled back. Another incision will be made in the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is made up of tendons that cover and support the shoulder joint. Pulling back the muscles and tendons will allow the doctor to have a clear view of the shoulder joint.
The doctor will then remove the shoulder joint and replace it with an implant that looks very similar. It includes a ball, socket, and stem parts.
After inserting the implant, the doctor will close the rotator cuff, muscles, and skin with stitches. A drain may also be inserted to remove fluids that may build up in the shoulder after surgery.
Right after the procedure, you will be in a recovery room where your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be monitored. Recovery may also include:
Antibiotics to prevent infection
Medication to prevent blood clots
X-rays to evaluate the new shoulder joint
You may start physical therapy as early as the day after your surgery. A physical therapist will work with you to help you regain your range of motion and strength in your shoulder. You will also continue physical therapy after you leave the hospital.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
Not allowing others to touch your incisions
You will wear an arm sling for the first several weeks after surgery. The sling will help support your shoulder as it heals. You should be able to do simple tasks, like feeding yourself and dressing, within 2 weeks after surgery. In the meantime, family members or friends may help you with daily activities.
The staff will teach you how to care for any dressings or bandages. This will help prevent wound infection.
Antibiotics may be needed before certain dental procedures or surgeries now that you have an artificial joint. This will prevent possible infections from entering the bloodstream. Make sure to let the dentist or doctor know that you have an artificial joint.
Shoulder joint replacement. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated December 2011. Accessed November 13, 2017.
Shoulder replacement surgery: diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Hospital for Special Surgery website. Available at:
https://www.hss.edu/conditions_Shoulder-Replacement-Surgery-Diagnosis-Treatment-Recovery.asp. Updated July 1, 2013. Accessed November 13, 2017.