What is a shoulder replacement?

A shoulder replacement is an operation that replaces the worn out or damaged shoulder joint. It is the third most common joint replacement, after knee and hip.

Over 7,800 shoulder replacements were performed in Australia in 2020.

Types

Primary Shoulder ReplacementPrimary Shoulder Replacement (Exactech Equinoxe)

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

There are 2 basic types of shoulder replacements: primary and reverse.

A primary shoulder replacement is used if your rotator cuff is intact

A reverse shoulder replacement is chosen if your rotator cuff is severely torn.

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that surrounds the top of your humerus, and are very important in the movement and stability of your shoulder.

Who should have surgery?

Severe arthritis and tearing of the rotator cuff, are the most common reasons to have a shoulder replacement. Most people who have shoulder replacements at over 60 years of age, and the pain of the shoulder arthritis has become severe affecting the ability to use the arm, with constant pain. There are many non-surgical treatment options available such as medication, physiotherapy or lifestyle changes, but if these options are failing to provide enough pain relief, then shoulder replacement surgery may be a good option.

Normal shoulder without arthritis

Shoulder that has severe arthritis

What happens during the operation?

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

This video shows the structures around the shoulder and demonstrates how a reverse shoulder replacement is performed.

In Australia, 67% of total shoulder replacements are reverse.

Primary Shoulder Replacement

This video shows the structures around the shoulder and demonstrates how a primary shoulder replacement is performed.

In Australia, 27.6% of total shoulder replacements are primary shoulder replacements with a humeral stem.

Precision Technology

The latest technology with preoperative CT planning and 3D modelling allows precision surgery and accurate placement of components. This leads to less complications and longer lasting replacements.