Denver Shoulder - Total Shoulder Replacement

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Total Shoulder Replacement

Total shoulder replacement is a treatment option for glenohumeral arthritis. Glenohumeral arthritis is damage to the cartilage covering the humerus and the glenoid in the shoulder’s ball-and-socket structure. Loss of cartilage results in “bone on bone” contact, creating friction between the humerus and glenoid. This usually stimulates the body to develop extra bone (osteophytes). The “ball” of the shoulder becomes less round and more irregular. Osteophytes slowly fill the joint space, which results in further decreases in motion. As a result, people with this condition experience shoulder stiffness, pain with activity, snapping, clicking, and grinding with shoulder movement. As the arthritis gets worse, the humeral head loses its shape further and it starts to grind into the glenoid socket, wearing it down. By replacing the shoulder with smooth surfaces, the pain decreases and range of motion improves.


In total shoulder replacement, both the head of the humerus (ball) and the glenoid (shoulder socket) are replaced. The ball of the humerus is replaced with a rounded metal cap or stem with a metal ball, and the glenoid is resurfaced with a plastic concave shell.


Biological resurfacing total shoulder replacement is another form of shoulder replacement in which the humeral head is resurfaced with a metal “cap” and the glenoid is resurfaced with cadaver skin tissue instead of a plastic concave shell. This procedure is often elected in younger active patients with cartilage wear on both the humerus and the glenoid. Since the plastic component is going to wear out over time, replacing the glenoid with a cadaver tissue allows young active people to continue to be active while preserving the bone in their glenoid.


Hemi shoulder replacement may be elected when the glenoid cartilage is normal and only the humerus is affected by arthritis. With this procedure, the humeral head is replaced with a rounded metal head or cap, providing a smooth surface without disturbing the healthy glenoid.


If arthritic pain in your shoulder is affecting your enjoyment of your day-to-day life, the shoulder surgeons at Western Orthopaedics can help. To learn more about total shoulder replacement, or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialty-trained shoulder doctors at Western Orthopaedics, please call 303-321-1333.

Dr. Hatzidakis at International Shoulder Course

Dr. Hatzidakis was invited to the 2018 Shoulder Course in Nice, France to discuss Biologic Resurfacing Shoulder Replacement in Young Patients


Dr. Hatzidakis Discusses Shoulder Arthritis and Shoulder Replacement

Less Invasive Implant for Total Shoulder Replacement

Total Shoulder Patient Stories

Madelyn's Story

Dr. Sears' Shoulder Replacement Patient Testimonial

Total Shoulder Replacement Patient Education Booklet

Click image below to download our Total Joint Replacement Patient Education Booklet.


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