Doctor with his hand on the shoulder of a white-haired man

A total shoulder replacement can help increase your range of motion and relieve pain from arthritis, fractures and rotator cuff tears. If nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy and medications don’t provide relief, you may need replacement surgery.

Our surgeons at the University of Maryland Orthopaedics will help you determine if surgery should be your next option and whether you would benefit from reverse shoulder replacement.

What to Expect: Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

You will have general anesthesia and be asleep for this surgery. We remove your damaged shoulder socket and replace it with a plastic socket. Next, we remove the ball from the top of your upper forearm bone, the humerus, and replace it with a metal ball and stem. The stem fits into your arm bone, and the ball fits into the shoulder socket. The surgery takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Recovery and Rehabilitation Begins Immediately

We will immobilize your arm for 24 hours after surgery. Your recovery team will show you how to manage swelling and pain. You will use your arm for activities like eating and brushing your teeth starting the morning after surgery. The hospital stay is typically one night.

During your first eight weeks at home, you will do exercises to improve motion. Your physical therapist will gradually add exercises to strengthen muscles.

You should be able to eat, dress and do most daily activities within the first week or two of surgery. Full recovery takes about four to six months.

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment with a shoulder specialist or learn more about our locations and treatment options. Call 410-448-6400 or request an appointment online