Our experience for your gain

Shoulder pain can keep you from doing the activities you need and like to do, and it can interfere with your sleep. For some people, shoulder replacement surgery is the best way to get relief. At UW Health, we offer the latest techniques performed by expert orthopedic surgeons. We also provide extensive education and support before and after surgery.

About the treatment

What is shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacement surgery involves removing damaged parts of your shoulder joint and replacing them with artificial parts. This can eliminate your pain and make it easier to move around and do daily activities.

Who is shoulder replacement surgery for?

Shoulder replacement surgery may be an option if you have severe shoulder pain from arthritis that other treatments haven’t helped. It may also be an option for certain shoulder fractures.

The treatment process

Eliminate the pain you’re shouldering

Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is found on the top of your humerus — the long bone of your upper arm. The socket — known as the glenoid — is part of your shoulder blade. Total shoulder replacement involves giving you a new ball and socket. In some cases, we may do a partial shoulder replacement. This involves replacing only the ball.

Types of shoulder replacement surgery

The right surgical procedure for you depends on your level of activity, age and the severity and type of your shoulder arthritis.

Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. In this approach, the arthritic ball and socket are removed and replaced with a metal-and-plastic shoulder joint. Total shoulder replacement can be performed for osteoarthritis (the kind that develops due to wear and tear) or rheumatoid arthritis. You must have a normally functioning rotator cuff to have this surgery.

People who only have damage to one side of the joint may be candidates for this
approach, which replaces only the ball of the joint.

If your rotator cuff is torn beyond repair and accompanied by arthritis, this may be your best option. In this surgery, the ball and socket of the shoulder joint are reversed: A ball is attached where your shoulder socket normally sits, and a socket is fitted to the top of your upper arm bone. This allows you to use muscles other than the ones in the rotator cuff to move your arm.

Meet our team

A team of specialists committed to your success

Highly skilled and experienced orthopedic surgeons will perform your joint replacement at UW Health. They’re joined by physician assistants and nurses who help prepare you for surgery and guide your recovery. Physical therapists help you rebuild strength and range of motion after surgery. Health psychologists, social workers and others may have roles in your care as well.

Our providers


Trust us to help you find relief

We offer joint replacement at several convenient locations.

Related serivices

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Additional services

To learn more about related services related to shoulder replacement at UW Health, visit: