Understanding Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Understanding Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Understanding Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Total shoulder arthroplasty, often referred to as total shoulder replacement, is a highly effective surgical procedure designed to alleviate pain and restore functionality in patients suffering from severe shoulder arthritis or other debilitating shoulder conditions. If you're seeking an orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint today for more information.


What is Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Total shoulder arthroplasty involves replacing the damaged parts of the shoulder joint with artificial components. This surgery is typically recommended for patients who have not found relief from conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or injections. The goal is to reduce pain and improve the range of motion, allowing individuals to return to their daily activities with greater ease and comfort.

Who Needs Total Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Several conditions can lead to the need for a total shoulder replacement, including:

  • Osteoarthritis: The most common reason for shoulder replacement, this degenerative joint disease causes the cartilage that cushions the bones to wear away, leading to pain and stiffness.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and can damage the joint's cartilage and bone.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Arthritis that develops after a serious shoulder injury, such as a fracture or dislocation.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy: When a torn rotator cuff leads to arthritis and significant shoulder dysfunction.
  • Avascular Necrosis: A condition where the blood supply to the bone is disrupted, causing the bone to die and collapse.

The Procedure

Preoperative Preparation

Before undergoing total shoulder arthroplasty, patients must undergo a thorough evaluation by their orthopedic surgeon. This includes:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: To assess overall health and identify any potential risks.
  • Imaging Studies: X-rays and possibly an MRI or CT scan to evaluate the extent of joint damage.
  • Preoperative Instructions: Guidelines on medications, fasting, and any necessary pre-surgical exercises.

Surgical Procedure

Total shoulder arthroplasty generally involves the following steps:

  1. Anesthesia: The patient is given general anesthesia or a regional block to ensure they are comfortable and pain-free during the surgery.
  2. Incision: A surgical incision is made over the shoulder joint to expose the damaged area.
  3. Removal of Damaged Tissue: The damaged cartilage and bone are carefully removed.
  4. Implantation of Prosthetic Components: The surgeon places the artificial components, which include a metal ball (replacing the humeral head) and a plastic socket (replacing the glenoid cavity).
  5. Closure: The incision is closed with sutures or staples, and a sterile dressing is applied.

Postoperative Care

Postoperative care is crucial for a successful recovery and typically includes:

  • Pain Management: Medications to control pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: A structured rehabilitation program to restore shoulder strength and mobility.
  • Follow-Up Appointments: Regular visits to the orthopedic surgeon to monitor progress and address any concerns.

Benefits of Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

Total shoulder arthroplasty offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Pain Relief: Significant reduction in shoulder pain, allowing for improved quality of life.
  • Improved Mobility: Enhanced range of motion, making it easier to perform daily activities.
  • Durability: Modern prosthetic components are designed to last many years, providing long-term relief.
  • High Success Rates: Most patients experience excellent outcomes and high satisfaction rates.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgery, total shoulder arthroplasty carries potential risks and complications, such as:

  • Infection: Though rare, infections can occur and may require additional treatment.
  • Blood Clots: Measures are taken to minimize the risk of blood clots, but they can still occur.
  • Nerve Injury: There is a small risk of nerve damage during the procedure.
  • Prosthetic Loosening: Over time, the artificial components may loosen and require revision surgery.

Choosing the Right Orthopedic Surgeon

Selecting a skilled and experienced orthopedic surgeon is essential for the success of your total shoulder arthroplasty. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Board Certification: Ensure the surgeon is board-certified in orthopedic surgery.
  • Experience: Look for a surgeon who has performed numerous shoulder replacement surgeries.
  • Patient Reviews: Read reviews and testimonials from previous patients to gauge their satisfaction and outcomes.
  • Communication: Choose a surgeon who listens to your concerns and explains the procedure and recovery process clearly.

If you're seeking an orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint today for more information.


Total shoulder arthroplasty is a life-changing procedure for individuals suffering from severe shoulder pain and dysfunction. By understanding the procedure, benefits, and risks, you can make an informed decision about whether this surgery is right for you. At Central Florida Bone & Joint, our team of expert orthopedic surgeons is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and helping you achieve the best possible outcomes.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint today. Take the first step toward a pain-free, active lifestyle!