What Is the Recovery Time for Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

Updated June 13, 2017

Shoulder replacement surgery is a major procedure requiring extensive recovery time. While the success rate is high, it may take months, with regular therapy and exercise, to regain full strength.

Total Replacement Surgery

There are two main types of shoulder-replacement surgeries: total and partial. Total replacement involves replacing the head of the humerus bone as well as the socket that makes up the shoulder joint.

Partial Replacement Surgery

Partial replacement is done when the shoulder socket is in good condition. In this case, only the bone is replaced.


Physiotherapy is a key component of the healing process. It will begin immediately, while you are still in the hospital, and continue during the months of recovery. Physiotherapy will focus on more active use of your arm and shoulder.

Three to Six Months

Generally, it takes about 3 to 6 months to recover from shoulder surgery, although a partial shoulder replacement may take less time. After 6 months, most patients are pain-free and have regained a majority of their strength and range of motion.

One Year

After one year, almost all patients will be pain free. Additionally, strength and range of motion should be completely back to normal.

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About the Author

Andrew Sheldon is a writer from New York. His writing focuses on health and exercise, but he is knowledgeable in various other areas. Sheldon has published articles on and other online health and fitness publications. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree.