Shoulder Replacement Surgery - Causes, Types, Treatment and Care

Shoulder problems can happen to anyone, whether or not you’re an athlete. Simple activities that require repetitive motion can bring on inflammation and make shoulder movement very painful. Shoulder replacement surgery can help minimize shoulder pain and bring back your range of motion, allowing you to return to your day-to-day activities.

Shoulder joint replacement while less common than knee or hip replacement is very effective in relieving pain and improving mobility due to arthritis or complex trauma. This procedure is recommended for people with severe pain, weakness or loss of motion in their shoulder who have found little or no relief from simpler treatments.

What is Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery is a type of surgery that replaces the ends of bones in the shoulder joint. The shoulder has the head of the humerus (shoulder head) and the glenoid (shoulder cup). In this procedure, the whole or damaged parts of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced with prosthetic implants.

This helps to cut down on joint pain and enable further use of the arm. There are various reasons someone might need shoulder replacement surgery. Acute injuries as the result of an accident or injury, bone diseases such as osteoarthritis are another cause. And sometimes, the bones degrade naturally.

Types of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The right procedure for a shoulder replacement surgery will depend on age, level of activity, and the severity and type of shoulder arthritis.

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

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 with or without a stem that fits inside the humerus bone. If you have good bone density, a stemless total shoulder can often be used. 

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.

Partial Shoulder Replacement

People who want to continue very heavy lifting or who only have damage to one side of the joint are advised to go for this surgery, which replaces only the ball of the joint.

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

If your rotator cuff is torn beyond repair and accompanied by arthritis, this may be your best option. In this approach, 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.

Shoulder Revision Surgery

This may be recommended if you’ve had a previous shoulder replacement that failed, because of infection or because the implant was incorrectly positioned or has become loose. Zoi Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons' expertise in performing this procedure is well-known.

Causes of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The most common causes of shoulder replacement surgery are:

1. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder (wear-and-tear on cartilage inside the joint) can develop from years of overuse, such as with tennis players, weightlifters and other athletes who put continual pressure on their shoulders). In other cases, an acute injury such as a torn rotator cuff or shoulder fracture triggers such long-term damage.

2. Forms of chronic inflammatory arthritis, (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and ankylosing spondylitis are autoimmune diseases with no completely understood cause. But many people with these conditions who have replacement surgeries experience improved function in the shoulder (and in ankylosing spondylitis patients, the elbow), as well as reduced pain.

Symptoms that help identify the need for a surgery

The most common indication that a person should get a shoulder replacement is shoulder pain due to arthritis that cannot be controlled with nonsurgical treatments. Such pain is usually accompanied by progressive stiffness and loss of motion, in which patients often experience a grinding or grating sensation within the shoulder joint. 

These symptoms and sensations indicate that bones of the ball and socket are rubbing against one another because the cartilage that should lie between them has worn away.

What is the procedure time for surgery?

At Zoi Hospitals, one of the best orthopaedic hospitals in Hyderabad,  a simple 1-2 hour surgery is done to make sure you live pain-free. Usually, you are made mobile the next day.

What is the cost of a shoulder replacement surgery?

At Zoi Hospitals, the cost of a surgery including preoperative and postoperative care is approximately 2 lakhs.

Diet after a shoulder replacement surgery

Eating good food which includes all the nutrients and protein is a very essential part of recovery. It will not only help you recover fast but will make you feel more energized. So, you can say that the food you consume will affect your well-being.

Include Lean protein

The most abundant protein in the body is collagen as it helps in getting tissue back together. Typically intake of protein should be around 0.8grams. But after a shoulder replacement surgery, you should increase this quantity. You should include at least 1.5 to 2.0 grams of protein. (If your weight is 68Kg then you should eat 102 to 136 grams of protein in one day. This means per meal it should be 25 to 30 grams and for two snacks 14 to 23 grams.)

Diet after a shoulder replacement surgery - Include Lean protein


To feel energized all day long and concentrate on your work properly you should include soluble as well as insoluble fibre in your diet. Prunes are a very rich source of fibre, so you should eat a few of them each day. Some other food products are beans, legumes, apples, pears, bran flakes, oatmeal, and flax-seed meals.

Diet after a shoulder replacement surgery - fibre 

Bell peppers and Citrus Fruit

Vitamin C should be another essential part of your diet. For this, you should include bell pepper in the diet. (You will be surprised to know that one medium pepper contains 340 mg). Especially if you have undergone the surgery which has incision then this will really help the wound to heal faster. Other sources are guava, kale, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, and broccoli.

Diet after a shoulder replacement surgery - Bell peppers and Citrus Fruit

Nuts and seeds

Many seeds and nuts are excellent sources of zinc. Pumpkin, squash and sesame seeds contain zinc is  very high amount and it helps the immune system to function properly. Moreover, it also helps in developing and activating the cells as well as promote cell growth. Oysters are considered as the highest concentration of zinc.

Diet after a shoulder replacement surgery - Nuts and seeds

Pineapple & Papaya

Pineapple and papaya contain protease enzymes which help the body to digest proteins. These enzymes such as bromelain and papain help in reducing the swelling and inflammation. The problem is bromelain is found in the stem of the pineapple (that chewy part you do not eat!). Instead you should take a supplement like Bromelain with Quercetin which is also a great option.

Diet after a shoulder replacement surgery  - Pineapple and Papaya

What are the limitations one might face after surgery?

Many patients are able to leave the hospital within one to three days, although full recovery can take significantly longer. Factors that affect recovery are based largely on age and overall health before and after the surgery. Full rehabilitation can take months; a normal pattern is roughly six weeks of limited activity, then more intense exercises, as well as stretches, until around the three-month mark.

To ensure the safest possible recovery after shoulder surgery, it can be beneficial to adhere to the following guidelines:

Wear your sling

When you are in public or moving around, it is recommended that you wear your sling, as it provides stability for your shoulder and allows you to heal properly. When you read, watch TV or work at a desk, it can be loosened, but it’s best to keep it secure the majority of the time.

Favour your hand

Avoid shoulder motion a much as possible, instead of bending your elbow, wrist, and hand to do low-impact activities like eating, writing and working at a computer.

Postpone housework

Or delegate the chores to others. After surgery, you will be advised to not lift or hold weight, and heavy housework like vacuuming is off-limits. Driving is also prohibited until further notice from your doctor. He or she will likely allow you to gradually add housework and driving back into your daily activities after approximately six weeks.

Do your list of exercises

Your doctor will prescribe exercises for you to do in order to regain full arm and shoulder movement without damaging the replaced shoulder. Exercising provides the range of motion you need to prevent your elbow and shoulder from getting stiff. While these exercises may be uncomfortable to do at first, they will get easier over time.

Choose ice over heat

After you do your recommended exercises, apply ice to your shoulder to reduce pain and swelling. Applying heat in the form of a heating pad or hot water bottle will only cause your joint to swell.

Zoi Hospital’s orthopaedic department might be your best option for treatment

In Zoi’s orthopaedics and traumatology department, each of our orthopaedic doctors is an expert in a specific area of orthopaedics, which means that you will always receive individualized care and specialized treatment.

The Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology specialises in handling accident and trauma cases, joint and bone diseases and sports injuries that require advanced surgical procedures and physiotherapy for a complete repair. Zoi Hospitals is among the few hospitals to perform computer navigation assisted shoulder replacement. The advantage of using computer navigation is the precision of cuts and implant placement which allows for early rehabilitation and increases the longevity of the prosthesis.

At Zoi orthopaedic hospital, we don't just provide orthopaedic treatment, we make sure that you get back in action as soon as possible.


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