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How long will my shoulder or elbow replacement last?

There's a very good chance that your shoulder or elbow replacement will last for 10 years. After this time it may loosen or wear out. A second joint replacement (revision surgery) may then be possible, although it's usually not so effective in easing symptoms.

Revision surgery

In a revision operation the original components will be removed, along with any cement that may have been used. The shaft of the humerus will often have become thinner by the time revision surgery is needed, and because further bone is removed during the operation the humerus is more prone to fracture.

If the original surgery was a shoulder resurfacing operation, revision surgery is usually a little easier because less bone will have been removed in the first operation. In this case the component forming the new bone surface is usually replaced with a stemmed component.

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