Shoulder Replacement Surgery


Shoulder replacement surgery, or shoulder ‘arthroplasty’ is required if damage to your shoulder over time makes pain and discomfort difficult to live with.  As with hip replacement and knee replacement surgery, shoulder replacement surgery involves removing the damaged joint surfaces and replacing them with a prosthesis, usually made of metal or plastic.  


Who is suitable for this procedure?

Shoulder replacement surgery is recommended for patients who have experienced long-term pain in their shoulder and have exhausted conventional treatments such as steroid injections and physiotherapy.  It is the most common and successful operation for patients with osteoarthritis in their shoulder, a condition which stiffens the joints, restricts movement, resulting in shoulder pain.


How is shoulder replacement surgery performed?

During the procedure, the surgeon will separate the deltoid and pectoral muscle in order to access the shoulder in an area which will minimise nerve damage.  The surgeon will then cut through one of the front rotator cuff muscles which covers the shoulder, enabling them to view the damaged area of the shoulder ball and socket.  The arthritic section of the joint is then removed and replaced with the implant socket.  The rotator cuff muscle is then closed and stitched, followed by the initial skin incision.  This area is cleaned and a bandage is applied as a temporary dressing.  


A total shoulder replacement usually takes between 60 – 90 minutes and is carried out under a general anaesthetic. 


What is the recovery period?

Recovery from shoulder replacement surgery will usually take approximately 8 weeks, although the patient can use the whole arm, including the shoulder for light activity from roughly 6 weeks.  For some though, it may be several months before they can return to more strenuous activities. 


After about 3 months, most patients feel reasonably comfortable and have regained about half of the shouder’s normal motion, although it does usually incur some weakness.  From 6 months on, most patients are pain free and have regained motion and strength to about two-thirds of the shoulder’s normal range.  At approximately 1 year, 95% of shoulder replacement patients are pain free, with some experiencing more weather related aches and pains or discomfort due to over activity.  There should be no limitations on strength, provided the deltoid and rotator cuff muscles are in good working order.  


A shoulder replacement can wear out after time, so it is important to take good care of your shoulder and understand that proper and extensive post-operative rehabilitation is a key factor in achieving the maximum benefit of shoulder replacement surgery.  However, if any discomfort does return, it is important to relay this to your Consultant in order to assess your shoulder and identify any underlying conditions.


At One Healthcare we can book you in to see a specialist Orthopaedic surgeon for an initial consultation, usually within 48 hours.  Shoulder replacement surgery is available at One Ashford Hospital in Kent and One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire. 


You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Shoulder Replacement Surgery treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you are using your health insurance please do contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at One Ashford Hospital

Why One Ashford Hospital

  • Access to leading Consultants within 48 hours*
  • 0% and low interest finance options**
  • Competitive fixed-price packages
  • Modern purpose-built hospital
  • Fast access to diagnostics including CT, MRI, X-Ray and Ultrasound
  • Private, spacious, ensuite rooms
  • Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
  • Little waiting time for surgery
  • Calm, dignified experience

*Dependent on Consultant availability
**Terms and conditions apply

Contact us and find out more

Contact our team to find out more information regarding private Shoulder Replacement Surgery or to book an initial consultation.

If you are based in and around Kent, Maidstone, Dover, Canterbury or Folkestone and would like to visit the One Ashford Hospital please click here

Contact the Hospital About Shoulder Replacement Surgery