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Total Shoulder Replacement

Do you have trouble getting dressed, reaching for objects on overhead shelves, or falling asleep at night because of shoulder pain? If medications or other treatments haven’t provided relief, you may be a good candidate for total shoulder replacement surgery. The orthopedics team at Astera Health offers both total shoulder replacement and a variation called reverse total shoulder replacement to help patients throughout Central Minnesota put shoulder pain behind them. 

Are you dealing with persistent pain in your hip or knee? We also provide total hip replacement and total knee replacement. 

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Shoulder replacement explained

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint formed by the top of the upper arm bone (humerus), which is the ball, nestling into the socket of the shoulder blade. Various forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and rotator cuff tearing, among other conditions, may damage the shoulder’s bones and cartilage. 

Astera offers two types of shoulder replacement surgery:  

  • Total shoulder replacement. In total shoulder replacement, the surgeon replaces damaged parts of the shoulder with artificial parts. They attach a metal ball and stem to the top of the arm bone. The metal ball sits inside a plastic socket placed on the shoulder blade. 
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement. In this surgery, the artificial parts switch places: the shoulder bone gets the metal ball, and the plastic socket attaches to the upper arm bone.  

If you have a total tear of the rotator cuff tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint, total shoulder replacement may not be right for you. This type of surgery might prevent you from lifting your arm straight out to the side. A better option may be reverse total shoulder replacement. 

Our team will help you decide which type of shoulder replacement makes the most sense for you. The majority of artificial shoulders last at least 10 to 20 years. and some can last even longer. 

How to prepare for shoulder replacement surgery

Once you’re scheduled for surgery, bring your questions about shoulder replacement to the Joint Education class, where Astera orthopedic experts will help you prepare for the procedure and what to expect. At Joint Education class, you’ll meet other patients preparing to have or who have already had surgery, giving you the opportunity to swap tips and lend a supportive ear. 

Ready to learn more? Read our shoulder replacement guidebook. 

Take additional steps to prepare for surgery, including: 

  • Ask friends or family members to help you around home after your surgery. 
  • Follow your provider’s instructions for stopping certain medications prior to surgery. 
  • Make your home more patient-friendly by moving items you use daily within easy reach. 
  • Manage chronic conditions and attend medical evaluations as ordered by your surgeon. 

What to expect

On the day of your surgery, you’ll meet with a certified registered nurse anesthetist, who will provide the type of anesthesia that’s best for you. Your surgery will take around two hours. 

After surgery, you’ll go to a recovery room or the post-anesthesia care unit while the anesthesia wears off. Then, you’ll move to a hospital room for monitoring by the nursing staff. You’ll likely go home the day after surgery. 

Recovering from shoulder replacement

Some pain is normal following shoulder replacement. Our team will help you manage it using prescription and nonprescription medications. 

You can aid your recovery by: 

  • Following your surgeon’s instructions closely 
  • Performing physical therapy exercises at home and working with a physical therapist at an outpatient clinic to improve strength and range of motion 
  • Wearing a sling for the first six weeks after surgery, according to your surgeon’s orders 

You should be able to use your arm and shoulder to perform simple self-care tasks, such as getting dressed, within two weeks after surgery. Your surgeon will likely clear you to resume driving in two to six weeks. 

Our orthopedics providers

Click to find out more about the dedicated providers below:

Ready to move forward with joint replacement? We’re here to help. Find an orthopedic specialist at Astera Health. 


Astera Health – Wadena Clinic

Toll-Free: 800-631-1811

Phone: 218-631-3510

Why choose Astera Health?

When you need medical care, you want to ensure you’re getting the best care possible. Astera strives to ensure that all patients always receive a high level of service. Patients love our clinics for all of the following reasons: 

Care for all ages 

We provide comprehensive services for all ages, from young children to older adults. 

Personalized treatment 

We develop customized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of every patient, ensuring they receive the best care. 

Compassionate care 

Our medical staff takes a personal interest in all our patients, providing compassionate care in your time of need. 

Tuesday, March 26

All clinics, rehab, and ReadyCare will open at 10 am