Shoulder Replacement

You don’t have to be a major league pitcher for shoulder pain to have an impact on your life. Arthritis and joint disease can make reaching and lifting — ways you move your arm everyday — difficult and painful. If you haven’t found relief with non-surgical treatment options, shoulder replacement surgery may be the most effective way to relieve your pain.

It’s good to know you have help close to home with the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Orthopaedic team.

What is Shoulder Replacement?

Your shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. It’s made up of three bones — the humerus, (the upper arm bone), the clavicle (collarbone), and the scapula (shoulder blade). The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that hold the ball on the end of your humerus against the cup-shaped socket (glenoid) of your shoulder bone. The rotator cuff also helps you raise and lift your arm.

When the shoulder bones or cartilage become damaged due to arthritis or joint disease, the ball and socket grind against one another. That makes it painful to lift, swing or rotate your arm. Shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the ball at the head of the humerus with a metal implant and the socket with another implant. The new, artificial joint allows smooth, pain-free movement of the joint.

What to Expect with Shoulder Replacement Surgery

If shoulder replacement is the best option to relieve your pain, your Surgeon will discuss the surgical approach that’s right for you. If your rotator cuff is also damaged, you may need a reverse shoulder replacement. You may be a candidate for a new, minimally invasive option, the Rotator Cuff-Sparing Shoulder Replacement. It’s an innovative approach that allows for faster healing and less pain.

If possible, you’ll be up sitting in a chair the day of surgery. Physical therapy begins the day after surgery and your therapist will inform you about your activity restrictions. Shoulder replacement recovery varies, taking from six to nine months, depending on the type of surgery you have. Your Orthopaedic team is with you every step of the way.

Why St. Elizabeth Healthcare?

When it comes to excellence in total shoulder replacement surgery and care, St. Elizabeth Healthcare offers you a nationally recognized team of experts close to home. Your orthopaedic care team consists of physicians, nurses, therapists, program coordinator, nurse managers and team leaders. Our focus is on you and helping you get back to an active life with less pain.

Contact Us

If surgery is necessary, our physicians can provide a referral to one of our affiliated orthopaedic surgeons. For more information on surgical options, please contact us at


Gold Seal of Quality Certification for Shoulder Surgery by Joint Commission

St. Elizabeth has achieved the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for shoulder replacement surgery. The Gold Seal symbolizes St. Elizabeth’s commitment to providing high-quality, safe orthopaedic care. The designation is a first for St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s total shoulder replacement program.

The Joint Commission is the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in America. The organization uses information from health care experts, patients, providers and scientific and medical literature to evaluate a facility’s compliance with safety and quality standards.