Shoulder Joint Replacement


What is shoulder arthritis? 

Shoulder arthritis is a condition in which the articular cartilage that covers the bones has become worn or damaged, and can cause chronic pain and loss of movement. Of the different types of shoulder arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common. It is degenerative condition that is most common among patients over the age of 50, and it is commonly referred to as “wear-and-tear” arthritis. Other causes include post-traumatic and rheumatoid arthritis.


Who is a candidate for shoulder joint replacement surgery?

Shoulder replacement surgery is an effective method for relieving pain and restoring function to the joint if the cartilage has been severely damaged. Dr. Potts may recommend surgical treatment in patients with the following:

  • Failure of prolonged conservative treatments, including activity modification, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections
  • Shoulder pain that interferes with daily life and prevents normal movement and function
  • Disabling loss of motion and weakness in the shoulder
  • Shoulder pain at rest that interrupts daily function and sleep
  • Previous shoulder surgery that has failed
  • Damage/degeneration of the shoulder caused by trauma or infection


What types of surgery are used to treat shoulder arthritis? 

Depending on the type of damage present, there are different types of shoulder replacement surgeries that Dr. Potts may recommend. The primary goals of surgery include relieving pain and restoring motion, strength, and function in order to help the patient to return to normal daily activities. All of the surgeries listed below are performed using an open procedure, and they include: 


Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (TSA)

Total shoulder replacements are a successful procedure for treating severe pain and stiffness that is often the result of end-stage arthritis or degenerative joint disease. During a TSA, the damaged humeral head (top of the arm bone) is replaced with a metal ball, and the glenoid (shoulder socket) receives a new, smooth plastic surface. The new components are kept in place with a combination of medical bone cement and tight-fitting components. The combination of metal on plastic allows for the return of a smooth, pain free motion in the joint.


Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (RTSA)

Similar to the standard total shoulder replacement procedure, the reverse operation involves replacing the ball of the joint and the socket with artificial components. However, the placement is reversed. The plastic socket is placed at the humeral head top and the metal ball is attached to the shoulder socket. This technique was designed for patients with painful arthritis who do not have a functional rotator cuff. A standard TSA depends on the rotator cuff to function properly, but without the rotator cuff, TSA surgery has an extremely high rate of early failure.



Also known as a partial shoulder replacement, a hemiarthroplasty involves replacing only the ball of the ball-and-socket joint. The ball is secured to the top of the humeral head with a stem that is press fit into place. This surgery is recommended for patients who have enough healthy bone and cartilage that may function with only minimal adjustments.




 Shoulder Arthritis 


 Total Shoulder Replacement