Total shoulder replacement is a procedure for treating the pain and stiffness that results from various forms of arthritis or degenerative joint disease of the shoulder joint, explains the Hospital for Special Surgery. The primary goals of shoulder replacement surgery are pain relief and the restoration of motion and function.
A total shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged humeral head with a metal ball, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery. The surgeon then puts a smooth plastic surface on the socket. The need for the metal ball and plastic socket arises after the normally smooth cartilage surfaces of the shoulder disappears and the ball and socket rub against each other, often causing severe pain.