Total Shoulder Replacement

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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a group of conditions that cause damage to one or more joints.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, where there is gradual wear and tear of a joint.

Some other types of arthritis are associated with inflammation of the joints that can eventually lead to severe joint damage.

Arthritis eventually wears away the normal cartilage covering the surface of the joint and the bone underneath becomes damaged. This causes pain and stiffness in the joint, which can interfere with normal activities.

What are the benefits of surgery?

You should get less pain and be able to move your arm more easily.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can help control the pain of arthritis.

A steroid injection into your shoulder joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness for several months.

All these measures become less effective if your arthritis gets worse and this is when your surgeon may recommend a shoulder replacement.

What does the operation involve?

Various anaesthetic techniques are possible.

The operation usually takes 1 to 2 hours.

Your surgeon will make a cut on the front of your shoulder and remove the damaged ball (head of the humerus). They will examine the socket which lies on your shoulder blade. They will replace the ball and sometimes also the socket. The new ball is made of metal and the socket is usually made of plastic.

Your shoulder replacement is fixed into the bone using a special coating on your arm side of your shoulder joint.

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after 2 to 3 days.

You will need to keep your arm in a sling for up to 2 weeks to keep the tension away from your shoulder joint.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most people make a good recovery, have less pain, and can move about better.

An artificial shoulder never feels quite the same as a normal shoulder and it is important to look after it in the long term.

A shoulder replacement can wear out with time.

What complications can happen?

Some complications can be serious and can even cause death.

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Blood clot in your leg
  • Blood clot in your lung
  • Chest infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Specific complications of this operation

  • Damage to nerves around your shoulder
  • Infection
  • Loosening
  • Rotator-cuff tears
  • Dislocation of your shoulder replacement
  • Stiff shoulder

Availability

NHS/Private

Pricing*

Consultant
£837
Anaesthetist
£270
Hospital
£5,520
Guide price
£6,627

*The prices shown are minimum guide prices only. Diagnostic scans and investigations are not included unless otherwise stated. The exact cost of treatment will be made clear to you before you proceed.

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice your healthcare team gives you. This information is published under license from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print, download or otherwise reproduce it.

Arthritis of your shoulder can cause severe pain, stiffness and disability. A shoulder replacement should reduce your pain and help you to move your shoulder more easily.

What to do next
  1. Talk to us about ways to pay, either insured or self-pay, and find out if you need a referral from your doctor.
  2. If you need one, ask your doctor for a referral letter.
  3. Call us to book an appointment with a consultant.
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I can’t thank everyone enough for the amazing care given. Such lovely attentive nurses. I will definitely recommend St Hughs and Mr Riaz and his team. Brilliant hospital.

Could not fault anything about my stay in St Hughs. Everybody was wonderful. Thank you all.

Everybody was kind, considerate and a jolly bunch, which helps to put you at ease and gives you confidence in knowing that they know what they are doing. 5 stars.

All staff extremely kind, patient and friendly. A credit to the hospital. Thank you.

Very good hospital and very good staff. I have never met so many caring people in one place. The nursing was 1st class. The encouragement to walk was also very good.

I had an amazing experience during my time at St Hugh’s Hospital, from my initial consultation to the aftercare following my procedure. Communication with the cosmetic nurse was brilliant; every member of staff I met was kind respectful, caring and polite. My surgeon was fantastic, so professional and kind, I trusted his knowledge completely.