Shoulder Replacement

Does your shoulder pain keep you up at night or keep you from doing what you want to do? Has your primary care physician suggested shoulder replacement? If so, you should know that the surgeons at the University of Michigan Health System are experts in shoulder replacement and have performed hundreds of these procedures.  

In shoulder replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the ends of the damaged upper arm bones and replaces them with plastic or metal pieces. Replaced shoulder joints now last 10 years or more. 

We also offer a reverse shoulder replacement for patients with large rotator cuff tears who have developed a complex type of shoulder arthritis called "cuff tear arthropathy."

And we are one of the few hospitals in the area that offers a rare, cutting-edge surgery that uses bone and cartilage from deceased donors to sculpt a new shoulder joint. We do this surgery when the ball or socket are so severely damaged that there isn't enough support for the joint to stay in place. This complicated technique requires an expert team that specializes in shoulder surgery, and we have performed many of these surgeries. 

Throughout all of these surgeries, our physicians work as a team with everyone who is involved in your care. Our main goal is to improve the quality of your life, and the best way to do this is through our multidisciplinary approach to your care. 

Note: If you have suffered a shoulder trauma - from a fall to a sports injury - it's important for you to seek treatment right away or you could risk further complications such as stiffness, muscle loss or a malunion (in which a fracture or break heals in a bad position that is difficult to undo). Getting a diagnosis quickly means that we can treat you while the injury is simpler to treat, which leads to a better chance for elimination of pain. 


  • We will take your complete medical history, ask you about your pattern of symptoms and do a physical exam.
  • We may conduct tests such as X-rays, blood tests or bone biopsies and may need to order CT scans and/or an MRI. 

Then we will use all of this information to develop an individualized treatment plan for you. 

Why Your Doctor May Recommend Shoulder Replacement

Your doctor may recommend shoulder replacement if:

  • All other treatments have failed.
  • Your pain is so bad you can't sleep at night, can't work or can't do some of the things you enjoy. 
  • You have lost a lot of cartilage. 
  • Your health is good so that you can successfully withstand surgery. 

Contact Us / Make an Appointment

  • MedSport, 877-877-9333, or 734-930-7400

You're about to make an important decision, and we want to help you make a good one. Visit our Contact Us page to see a list of Musculoskeletal Call Centers. Our staff will be glad to talk with you about your options and how we can help.