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Shoulder Replacement

Silicon Valley Orthopaedics

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons located in Fremont, CA, Los Gatos, CA & Menlo Park, CA

Advanced arthritis and severe joint instability are the most likely reasons for needing shoulder replacement surgery. If you're tired of disabling shoulder pain, Nic Gay, MD, Masi Reynolds, MD, George Thabit III, MD, and the team at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics in Fremont, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, and Foster City, California, can help. They perform anatomic and reverse total shoulder replacement operations that resolve chronic pain and enable you to move your shoulder freely. To arrange an appointment to discuss shoulder replacement, call Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today or use the online booking form.

Shoulder Replacement Q & A

What is shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacement surgery or shoulder arthroplasty involves removing damaged bone and cartilage from the joint and implanting metal and plastic substitute parts.

Your shoulder joint consists of the round head (ball) of your humerus (upper arm bone) and the socket (glenoid) into which the ball fits. If these structures experience severe damage that isn't treatable by any other means, shoulder replacement surgery relieves your pain and restores your mobility.

Why might I need a shoulder replacement?

The most common conditions that might require a shoulder replacement include:


The result of wear-and-tear over the years, osteoarthritis involves the erosion of cartilage that protects the ends of your bones and allows smooth joint movement.

Rotator cuff injuries

Your rotator cuff muscles and tendons surround the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff injuries might damage the cartilage and bone, and repeated damage can lead to a form of arthritis called cuff tear arthropathy.


If you break or shatter the upper end of your humerus, it may not be possible to reconstruct the bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis

The inflammation caused by severe rheumatoid arthritis can damage the shoulder's cartilage and bone beyond repair.


Osteonecrosis is the death of bone that's starved of oxygen due to lack of blood flow.

What does shoulder replacement surgery involve?

There are several ways to approach shoulder replacement surgery, including:

Anatomic total shoulder replacement

In this form of shoulder replacement surgery, your Silicon Valley Orthopaedics surgeon replaces both the ball and socket parts of the joint.

Reverse total shoulder replacement

A reverse procedure also replaces both the ball and socket, but your surgeon switches the position of the implants. That means the ball attaches to your shoulder blade, and the socket attaches to your upper arm bone. Reverse total shoulder replacement is usually the best choice for severe rotator cuff damage or cuff tear arthropathy.

Partial shoulder replacement

In some cases, the socket part of the shoulder doesn't need replacing, in which case your surgeon preserves it and just replaces the ball. 

What happens when I have shoulder replacement surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery generally takes one to two hours, during which time you'll be unconscious. You'll probably get a nerve block in your shoulder as well, which helps control pain when you come round after the operation.  

The Silicon Valley Orthopaedics team uses the least invasive approach possible, guided by your needs. That means you could benefit from minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery or robotic-assisted surgical techniques that keep tissue damage and pain to a minimum.

If you have a serious shoulder condition and think joint replacement surgery could help, call Silicon Valley Orthopaedics and schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.