Shoulder Arthritis Surgery


If you have shoulder arthritis, you might experience pain in your shoulder that gets worse the more you use it. You might be routinely reaching for things over your head and your shoulder is in pain, however, if you rest your shoulder it should feel better. Depending on the type of shoulder arthritis you have, your arthritis might hurt in the back of the shoulder or on top of the shoulder near the collarbone. Orlando Hand Surgery Associates can help relieve your pain with one of our appropriate shoulder arthritis surgery procedures.

How to Prepare for Surgery

To prepare for this surgery, get assistance for things like housework, cooking, laundry, or driving for several weeks. You may also want to prepare your home for instance you may want to put things you normally would reach for at counter height. These items might be items like pots and pans, clothes, or cleaning supplies. We may suggest that you get a shower chair or a removable shower head to help you in the shower.

One week away from your surgery date you need to stop taking all blood thinners. You may also want to place all loose button up or zippered shirts at counter height. You will want to avoid any shirts that require you to put them over your head. Finally, the night before your surgery, refrain from eating or drinking anything after midnight.


There are several methods used to treat shoulder arthritis that does not involve surgery. One of those methods is through the use of joint lubricants. While another is using new medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Below are some additional procedures:
  • Arthroscopy. Arthroscopy can treat some forms of arthritis. We will insert a small camera into the shoulder while the camera displays pictures on a television screen. We will use these pictures to guide small surgical instruments while treating the area. Due to the small instruments, the incisions are small. This surgery will allow us to clean out the inside of the joint. Unfortunately, this surgery can assist in pain relief, however, it won’t eliminate arthritis from your joint.
  • Shoulder Joint Replacement (Arthroscopy). ​During this surgery, the damaged places of your shoulder will be replaced with a prosthesis. The three types of shoulder surgeries are the head of the humerus (hemiarthroplasty), the head of the humerus, and the glenoid (total shoulder arthroplasty), and a reverse total shoulder replacement. All of these shoulder surgeries are performed under general anesthetic. The arthroscopy and reverse total shoulder replacement procedures are outpatient surgery which means while this surgery takes place in an operation room you will be able to return home the same day. The total shoulder arthroplasty is an inpatient surgery meaning you will be admitted to the hospital and required to stay overnight for observation.


Recovery time depends upon the type of surgery performed. Depending on your type of surgery, it typically takes four to six months to expect a full recovery.


The only treatment option to cure osteoarthritis is joint replacement surgery. Arthritis can’t develop in the new joint’s plastic and metal materials. Ultimately the total joint replacement also eliminates the root cause of pain and limited mobility by providing a new, fully functioning joint.


The arthroscopic surgery experiences less blood loss, less risk of infection and the scars are tiny as opposed to the open approach. Unlike the open approach, there’s no damage to the deltoid muscle which inevitably reduces the risk of damage to the deltoid muscle as well. There is a 90-95% success rate in the average person. There’s a risk with the post-operative infection to the open wound as well.


A small percentage of patients will require a second, or revision surgery. Revision surgeries have a higher rate of risks and side effects. These types of surgeries are more common for patients under the age of 60 and for patients who have rotator cuff disease.