When Is It Time To Consider A Shoulder Replacement?

If shoulder pain is severely limiting your daily activities and range of motion, it may be time to consider a shoulder replacement. The best course of action is to look at all your options, talk with Dr. Samuel Koo and determine together the answer to the question: when is it time to consider a shoulder replacement and what exactly does that entail?

Analyze Your Symptoms

Painful shoulder symptoms can affect both your personal and professional life, your sleep, and in fact, may be preventing you from doing further damage.

Some symptoms are the result of a minor injury and will heal over time, while others are more serious and only become worse. Consider these issues and decide if they warrant talking to your physician about surgery.

Sleepless Nights

If you are losing sleep due to shoulder pain and can’t sleep on the injured side, this is a symptom worth noting. It means whatever the injury, it is not healing on its own.

senior man with pain in his shoulder

Pain That Radiates

If your pain doesn’t stop at the shoulder and begins to radiate to the arm, this could be a serious injury and needs to be addressed.

Lifting And Reaching Are Compromised

If you continue to have difficulty simply reaching out your arm or lifting anything even minor, this is a sign muscles may have been damaged and your shoulder is not physically healthy.

You Have Pain Even Without Movement

A minor injury will not hurt all the time, but when you feel pain even with no activity at all, this is serious enough to speak to Dr. Samuel Koo.


You know how your shoulder and arm should feel and react, but when you notice obvious weakness, this is a situation which needs attention and possibly surgery.

Types Of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

There are three types of shoulder replacement surgery:

  • A partial shoulder replacement surgery is recommended when there is damage to the head or ball of the upper arm (humerus). In this case the rest of the shoulder is healthy and the upper arm bone is replaced with metal.
  • In a total shoulder replacement surgery, both the head of the humerus bone and the socket are replaced with metal or plastic.
  • Reverse shoulder replacement surgery is used when there is significant damage to the shoulder tendons, or the rotator cuff. The surgery creates a situation where the deltoid muscle is used to move the shoulder rather than the tendons.

Don’t delay if you have any of the shoulder symptoms mentioned above. The longer a shoulder injury is left untreated, the more complicated the surgery may be and the risk for complications increases.

Contact Dr. Samuel Koo for a shoulder evaluation if you have pain which limits your activities.

For further questions or to schedule an appointment, please call (425) 823-4000 or request an appointment online today.