Joint replacement involves surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint. This surgery creates new joint surfaces. In shoulder replacement surgery, your surgeon replaces the ends of the damaged upper arm bone (humerus) and usually the shoulder bone (scapula) or cap them with artificial surfaces lined with plastic or metal and plastic. Shoulder joint components may be held in place with cement. Or they may be made with material that allows new bone to grow into the joint component over time to hold it in place without cement.
The top end of your upper arm bone is shaped like a ball. Muscles and ligaments hold this ball against a cup-shaped part of the shoulder bone. Surgeons usually replace the top of the upper arm bone with a long metal piece, inserted into your upper arm bone, that has a rounded head. If the cup-shaped surface of your shoulder bone that cradles your upper arm bone is also damaged, doctors smooth it and then cap it with a plastic or metal and plastic piece. General anesthesia is often appropriate for joint replacement surgeries.
Your surgeon may recommend that you take antibiotics before and after the surgery to reduce the risk of infection. If you need any major dental work, it may be recommend that you have it done before the surgery. Infections can spread from other parts of the body, such as the mouth, to the artificial joint and cause a serious problem.