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This is a surgical procedure performed to relieve or reduce the symptoms of arthritis in the shoulder joint, such as pain, swelling and reduced movement & function.


Indications for surgery:

Chronic shoulder pain causing reduced movement & function. This is caused by:

  • Osteoarthritis – wear & tear of the shoulder joint
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Autoimmune disease causing swelling & deformity of the joint
  • Arthritis due to previous injury to the shoulder joint
  • Trauma to the shoulder joint necessitating replacement of the joint.



A shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure where the ends of the bones in the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial replacements.  There are 3 types of shoulder replacement, and your consultant will perform the best procedure that will address the causes of your shoulder pain factoring in the general condition of the tissues & bone in your shoulder

These are:

  • Shoulder Hemiarthroplasty – The ball (head of your humerus or arm bone) & socket joint in the shoulder are replaced
  • Reverse Geometry Shoulder Replacement – same as a hemiarthroplasty but the position of the ball & socket are reversed. 
  • Total Shoulder Replacement – All the bones in the shoulder are replaced.


After Your Surgery:

You will have a large dressing on your shoulder after the surgery that will be reduced a day or two after the surgery. There are standard surgical dressings underneath this that are left in place. Your nurse will explain this in more detail after your surgery.

Your will be seen by a physiotherapist on the ward the day after your surgery. They will give you the exercises you will have to do initially as part of your rehabilitation. Your consultant will explain this further when you see them in your consultation prior to surgery.

You will also have your arm in a sling for a period of time. Your consultant will clarify how long this will be after your surgery.

As may have pain for a few weeks after surgery, it is recommended that you follow the instructions given by your team carefully, take pain killers as prescribed and use ice regularly to reduce swelling and thus the pain.

Please speak to your consultant regarding any specific questions or queries you have about this surgery and the rehabilitation afterwards.

Consultants who offer this service

Mr. Kieran O Shea

Mr. Kieran O Shea


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