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Copeland Shoulder Procedures

Another effective method of relieving shoulder pain is Copeland hemiartoplasty. The surgeon may suggest a means of replacing the shoulder joint to increase movement and decrease pain.

The shoulder is a spherical joint. In this procedure, the surgeon will try to replace the ball while leaving the socket as it is.

Shoulder relocation

The shoulder may be relocated and the muscle, tendons, and skin are closed.

Some surgeons use soluble stitches and others use sutures that must be removed within 14 days.

This operation involves a great efforts of rehabilitation, because it is painful and there will be a lot of bandage around the shoulder.

Copeland Shoulder Surgery Risks


  • Pain: The procedure involves moving soft tissue and hurts afterwards. It is important to discuss this with the staff and ask for pain medicine if necessary. The shoulder may remain stiff for some time afterwards.
  • Bleeding: There will inevitably be some bleeding. Drains (if present) will limit the amount of collection.
  • Scar: the operation will leave a thin scar on the front of the shoulder / chest.

Less Common

  • Dislocation: Dislocation is a painful situation in which the shoulder moves out of position in the joint.
  • Decreased function: The outcome of the operation is variable. It may end with the same or worse movement in the shoulder than before the operation.
  • Infection: This may occur as redness, discharge, or high temperature around the incision. Antibiotics may be necessary once the infection has been isolated.

Rare (<1%)

  • Damage to nerves: There is a large amount of large and important nerves that run through and around the shoulder.
  • Hypertrophic / Keloid Scar: Scars that grow excessively (within the margin of the wound and beyond, respectively).

Alternative Shoulder Procedures

There are several non-surgical options. This includes the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids. Another non-surgical procedure may be physical therapy.


Physical therapy exercises or stretching have often proven successful in preventing the need for surgery. Consult with our physical therapists.

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