Shoulder Replacement



A shoulder replacement is surgery to replace a diseased or injured shoulder. An artificial ball-and-socket joint is inserted to make a new shoulder.

EQ00020 shoulder replacement
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Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Shoulder instability
  • Injury to surrounding structures like the nerve, blood vessels, and shoulder joint

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Replacement, Total Shoulder; Shoulder Joint Replacement; Replacement, Shoulder Joint; Total Shoulder Joint Replacement; Replacement, Total Shoulder Joint)


Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 

Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine 


Canadian Orthopaedic Association 

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation 


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Joint replacement: shoulder. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: Accessed September 30, 2020.

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Shoulder joint replacement. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Accessed September 30, 2020.

Shoulder replacement. Hospital for Special Surgery website. Available at: Accessed September 30, 2020.

van der Meijden OA, Gaskill TR, et al. Glenohumeral joint preservation: a review of management options for young, active patients with osteoarthritis. Adv Orthop. 2012;2012:160923.