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Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement or “arthroplasty” is the most common and successful operation for arthritis. Similar to hip replacement and knee replacement it involves removing the arthritic joint surfaces and replacing them with a metal or plastic “prosthesis” or implant.

Shoulder Joint Replacement

Shoulder replacement or “arthroplasty” is the most common and successful operation for arthritis. Similar to hip replacement and knee replacement it involves removing the arthritic joint surfaces and replacing them with a metal or plastic “prosthesis” or implant.

The shoulder can suffer from several types of arthritis e.g. inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, and cuff tear arthritis. The type of arthritis you have will determine the type of replacement or “prosthesis” you have

Shoulder replacement is a very effective operation, with a long track record of success, though, like all major surgery, there are risks such as infection, fracture and dislocation. Your surgeon will discuss the type of replacement and the relevant risks with you before deciding on any operation.

Your admission

You will normally come to the hospital on the day of your surgery. You will usually have any tests required e.g. blood tests, performed in the outpatients before your arrival. If you are a smoker, stopping at least 48 hours before your surgery is advisable for the anaesthetic. You should bring details of all your medications with you when you are admitted.

Shoulder replacement surgery

Shoulder replacement is an open operation involving an incision at the front of the shoulder. Usually, it will involve a general anaesthetic, often with a regional nerve block (local anaesthetic) to numb the arm as well. The operation takes about 2 hours and you will usually need to stay in hospital for 2 or 3 nights following the operation.

Shoulder replacement recovery

You will start gentle physiotherapy immediately after surgery and you will need to wear an arm sling for roughly 4 – 6 weeks, during which time you will be unable to drive. There will usually be stitches in the wound which will be removed 10 days after the operation. Physiotherapy is extremely beneficial in the recovery period (6-8 weeks), but it can take up to six months for the full benefit of a joint replacement. Regular follow-up appointments will be arranged with your surgeon to obtain further x-rays and check on your progress.

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Private Orthopaedic Clinic

The Orthopaedic Unit at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is one of the country’s leading private orthopaedic centres. We provide a complete service for the assessment, treatment and management of orthopaedic and musculoskeletal problems.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 0207 078 3891.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

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