Shoulder Replacement Specialist

Joe Cooper, MD

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA & Brentwood, CA

Over 50,000 people have shoulder replacement surgery every year. Thanks to advances in the surgical field, shoulder replacement is now widely viewed as a reliable and safe way to reclaim shoulder function. Esteemed orthopedic surgeon Joe Cooper, MD, helps his Los Angeles, California, patients do exactly that. Call the Beverly Hills or Brentwood office to arrange your appointment with Dr. Cooper, or click on the provided booking link now.

Shoulder Replacement Q & A

What is shoulder replacement?

Shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure to remove damaged, diseased, and worn-out parts of your shoulder joint and replace them with metal and plastic components. This procedure can restore proper movement in your shoulder and relieve pain and stiffness. 

For many people, shoulder replacement is the best way to regain full function. In fact, more than 96% of people under age 55 return to one or more sports within seven months of their shoulder replacement.

What conditions does shoulder replacement treat?

Shoulder replacement is primarily a treatment for end-stage osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, in the shoulder joint. But there are also other reasons for shoulder replacement, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Severe shoulder fractures
  • Traumatic shoulder injuries
  • Osteonecrosis: Bone death caused by lack of blood supply
  • Rotator cuff arthropathy: A large rotator cuff tear along with arthritis

In general, shoulder replacement isn't a first-line treatment, so it's only right for end-stage or severe conditions that don't respond to nonsurgical care like physical therapy, injections, and anti-inflammatory medications. 

Am I a good candidate for shoulder replacement?

Ideal shoulder replacement candidates are over 50 years of age. In general, you may be a good candidate if you have:

  • Moderate-to-severe pain 
  • Poor shoulder function
  • Shoulder pain that disrupts regular activities 
  • Shoulder pain that disrupts sleep
  • Reduced quality of life due to shoulder pain

The rotator cuff supports your shoulder joint, so you need a healthy rotator cuff to have a standard shoulder replacement. 

However, if you have rotator cuff arthropathy along with a nonfunctional rotator cuff, Dr. Cooper can perform a reverse shoulder replacement in which he reverses the position of the ball and socket in the joint. This allows you to move your arm and relieves your pain without relying on your rotator cuff for stability. 

How does a shoulder replacement procedure work?

Dr. Cooper typically performs shoulder replacement while you're under regional anesthesia with a laryngeal mask airway (LMA). You won't feel any pain during the surgery. Dr. Cooper removes the surfaces of the shoulder ball and socket and secures new parts to the bones. 

The procedure takes two hours on average. You stay in the recovery area, with close monitoring, until you wake up, and you receive pain medicine and a shoulder sling to keep your joint from moving as it heals. Most people can go home that same day. 

You'll start rehabilitation quickly afterward, which is vital in restoring your strength, flexibility, and overall function. Complete recovery time varies with the individual, but most people fully resume their normal activities including sports in 6-12 months. 

If you’re an active person who’s anxious to get back to your sport, Dr. Cooper can plan your rehab based on your specific sport and recovery goals. 

For shoulder replacement from an expert fellowship-trained specialist, call Joe Cooper, MD, or book an appointment through online booking now.