Dr Heckroodt Laubscher

Specialist Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

Shoulder Arthroplasty (Replacement)

This procedure is indicated in patients suffering from glenohumeral arthritis or rotator cuff arthropathy (also a type of arthritis). During these procedures an artificial (metal) joint is inserted into the shoulder joint to replace the arthritic joint. These a major procedures which a often performed on elderly patients. Patients should consider a shoulder arthroplasty as a last option in improving range of motion and alleviating pain.
A proper and full assessment also needs to be made of the patient preoperatively to assess their fitness for this kind of surgery.

Procedure duration:
This is a demanding procedure and theatre time is often 120-180 minutes. The patients remain in hospital for at least 3-4 days post operation.

Post operative rehabilitation:
A sling should be worn for between 2-6 weeks depending on the type of arthroplasty performed. Rehabilitation is slow and therefore can continue under the guidance of a physiotherapist for 3-4 months.