Shoulder Arthroplasty

What is a shoulder arthroplasty?

Shoulder arthroplasty refers to the surgical procedure most commonly known as a ‘shoulder replacement’. When a shoulder condition has degenerated to the point where the patient is experiencing great pain and discomfort a shoulder arthroplasty may like to be considered.

This decision is always made in conjunction with your specialist orthopaedic surgeon.

Patients who proceed with surgery often have:

  • Severe shoulder pain that disrupts everyday activities (e.g: Reaching for objects, dressing, toileting and household tasks).
  • Moderate to severe discomfort while resting. This pain may interfere with a good night’s sleep.
  • Impaired movement and/or weakness in the shoulder.
  • Failure of significant improvement with other treatment options – such as anti-inflammatory medications, injections and physical therapy.

What is involved in a shoulder arthroplasty?

The key parts of the shoulder involved with an arthroplasty include the humeral head (the ball) which sits inside the glenoid (socket) and is held together by the rotator cuff. Shoulder replacementDuring shoulder replacement surgery the arthritic humeral head is replaced with a smooth metal ball and the arthritic glenoid is resurfaced.

Other options for treatment

A partial shoulder replacement (hemiarthroplasty) is another surgical procedure that may be able to be considered in some instances for patients. A hemiarthroplasty is similar to a full shoulder replacement (arthroplasty) but it only involves the humeral head (the ball) being replaced. There is no resurfacing of the glenoid during this operation. Your orthopaedic specialist will be able to advise if this is viable option for you.

Giving back your abilities

Shoulder arthroplasty’s have an extremely high success rate in relieving pain and discomfort for patients as well as returning them back to their normal daily activities with restored function of their shoulder.


To work out if a shoulder arthroplasty may be a treatment option for you, we invite you to get in touch with our rooms to make an appointment with one of our specialist orthopaedic surgeons.