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Total Shoulder Replacement

Educational Video

Total Shoulder Replacement


Saint Luke’s Hospital is part of the Saint Luke’s Hospital Group, providing top quality medical care to the local community in Los Cabos for more than 12 years.


The hospital has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities and the surgeons have been carefully selected from some of the best surgeons in Mexico, all board certified with specialty licenses in their field of expertise.


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Total shoulder replacement, also known as total shoulder arthroplasty, is a procedure for the treatment of severe pain and stiffness caused by a serious arthritic condition or degenerative disease of the shoulder joint.


Total shoulder replacement is a procedure used when there is a severe destruction of the humeral head and glenoid surface from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, or trauma. During this procedure, the humeral head and glenoid socket are replaced with plastic and metal components to relieve pain and improve function.


This procedure is usually done only when other treatments such physical therapy and medications have failed. The surgeon may also consider other types of shoulder replacement procedures:


Partial Shoulder Replacement: replaces the humerus with a prosthetic, and the glenoid surface is left intact.


Partial Shoulder Resurfacing: replaces the damaged or diseased portion of the humerus head with a metal implant. An option for younger patients and allows for future shoulder procedures and surgeries.


Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement: when the damaged shoulder joint is replaced with artificial components which reverse the structure of the shoulder. This procedure is used for patients who have a previously failed total shoulder replacement and also for those who have had a complete tear of the rotator cuff, and arthritis is present.


The surgeons at Saint Luke's Hospital have extensive experience in orthopedic procedures, including total shoulder replacement surgery, and use state of the art equipment and the latest technology to provide the best results at the most affordable prices.


Total shoulder replacement is performed as an inpatient operation, which requires a hospital stay of one to three days. The procedure requires either general or regional anesthesia, and generally takes up to two hours.


The procedure replaces the damaged or diseased head of the humerus and cartilage from the shoulder joint with a plastic and metal joint. At first, the surgeon removes the head of the humerus and then smoothes and reshapes the glenoid socket. The plastic glenoid component is pressed into place with bone cement. The surgeon then hollows out the upper portion of the humerus to receive the implant. The metal stem is implanted in the humerus, and it may be secured with bone cement. A metal ball is placed onto the metal stem. The surgeon then joins the modified humerus and glenoid components to form the new shoulder joint.


After the treatment you will go home with an arm sling and should not use the arm. You may begin some motion immediately after the surgery, however only under the direction of the surgeon.



As with any procedure there are risks associated with shoulder replacement surgery. The following is a summary of the most common risks and complications.


   •  Infections requiring antibiotics and in some cases hospitalization

   •  Stiffness in the shoulder

   •  Instability of the joint

   •  Loosening of the implant

   •  Damage to nerves or blood vessels

   •  Excess bleeding which can cause swelling of the joint and pain

   •  Normal risks of general anesthesia


Risks can be minimized by following the surgeon's instructions before and after surgery.


This information should be used only as a guide to your medical procedure. All specifics will be discussed with your surgeon at your consultation. For more information about our packages for total shoulder replacement surgery at Saint Luke's, contact us by using the attached “Ask a Question” form.

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