There are some cases like severe arthritis or fracture of upper arm bone with tissue death, in such cases Total Shoulder Replacement is recommended. Total Shoulder Replacement involves removal of the complete humeral head and insertion of a prosthesis in its place. Total shoulder replacement is considered the most reliable surgical option for relieving debilitating shoulder arthritis, but it is not appropriate for people who want to remain very active or have damaged rotator cuff muscles.

However, there are some cases where full replacement of the shoulder is not necessary. In certain cases of trauma, where part of the shoulder is broken, it may only be necessary to replace part of the humeral head. In such cases, Shoulder Resurfacing is recommended. It is ideal for those young patients who have active lifestyle and does not want to go through the concerns of durability of the implants used.Postponing shoulder surgery is never advisable as this can cause muscle atrophy from lack of use, making post-surgical rehabilitation more challenging and also lead to excessive glenoid bone loss, complicating the surgeon’s ability to resurface the socket side of the joint. So when a Total  Shoulder Replacement is not preferred then Shoulder Resurfacing is the best bet.

Apart from Arthroplasty the other types of Shoulder Resurfacing surgeries are;

  • Ream-and-run – The head of the upper arm bone is replaced with a metal ball. The person’s natural socket (glenoid) is reshaped to match the curvature of the metal ball.This process is also called a hemiarthroplasty with non-prosthetic glenoid arthroplasty.
  • Hemiarthroplasty – Similar to a ream-and-run in that the head of the upper arm bone is replaced with a metal ball. However, in hemiarthroplasty, the person’s natural socket is not reshaped to match the curvature of the ball.

In Shoulder Resurfacing, part of the humeral head is preserved. The remaining damaged part is replaced with a hemispheric metallic head. This gives a new surface to the damaged part of the humeral bone, allowing most of the natural bone to remain intact. Shoulder resurfacing involves “smoothing out” the spot where the upper arm bone (humerus) and shoulder blade (scapula) meet (the glenohumeral joint). The “ball” of the upper arm bone is replaced by a prosthesis, but the patient’s natural shoulder blade bone is left in place. A shoulder resurfacing surgeon may also use specialized surgical instruments to remove abnormal tissue from the spot on the shoulder blade that makes contact with the upper arm (glenoid).

The Shoulder Resurfacing procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia and usually takes about 2 hours to complete. An incision is made in the front of your shoulder.Shoulder Resurfacing is off late used as an alternative to Total Shoulder Replacement, for patients who are young and have active lifestyles. It preserves rather than removes, the humeral head. It is also a less invasive option and provides faster recovery. There is less blood loss and less pain. Less hospital stay post-surgery and rehabilitation begins the same day.  Another advantage is, as limited amount of implanted material is used, infections, if it occurs can be dealt with more easily.Shoulder resurfacing is also used to treat a condition called avascular necrosis. In avascular necrosis, blood does not flow properly to the upper arm bone, causing bone tissue to die.

Patients with Shoulder Resurfacing usually stay in the hospital only for a day or two. Mild Physiotherapy begins the same day of surgery or the next day. Doctors advise to wear a sling generally for 6 weeks. High-contact sports are generally not allowed after Shoulder Resurfacing surgery because it could lead to complications.Resurfacing can be used in patients with mild to moderate arthritis that is confined to the humeral head. The ideal candidate for Shoulder Resurfacing Surgery must be healthy and have sufficient bone matter to undergo the procedure successfully. The patient should not be suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes. If the patient is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, then the medical management team will include a skilled rheumatologist.

Shoulder Resurfacing has been developed in the last 25 years. The first Total Shoulder Resurfacing procedure was performed in 1958 by Dr Charles O Townley with a metal humeral component and a polyurethane glenoid. Subsequent shoulder resurfacing procedures were performed using small hip resurfacing prostheses. Shoulder resurfacing has gained favor by surgeons and patients for several reasons. The primary reason is that the humeral head is retained, as opposed to total shoulder arthroplasty, which removes the entire humeral head. Shoulder resurfacing offers more bone retention, and if future revision surgery is necessary, the surgery is less involved making the recuperation much faster for the patient. Shoulder resurfacing surgery is generally more effective than total joint replacement. Owing to minimal bone resection, absence of osteotomy, and low incidence of periprosthetic fracture, this type of surgery is considered to be more effective for those whose shoulder joint problems are in the initial stages.

For enquiries related to Total Shoulder Resurfacing procedure, write to or call 9846789204

Q&As on Treatment of Shoulder Injuries


  1. How can you know that you have a shoulder injury?

The ball and socket joint of your shoulder offers you a good range of motion, but at the expense of your shoulder stability. When compared with other joints, the shoulder joint gets dislocated more frequently. Repeated stress from how you use your shoulder on your job or during sports activities can result in tears and various injuries. To assess whether you have a shoulder injury or not, try answering the following questions:

  • Are you able to normally move your arms or are your shoulders painful or very stiff?
  • Do you feel like your shoulder will pop out of the socket?
  • Does your shoulder have the required strength for doing things normally?


  1. How are fractures and shoulder dislocation treated?

Once the diagnosis establishes the kind of shoulder injury the patient is suffering from, the treatment is decided accordingly. For injuries like bone fractures and shoulder dislocations, the treatment requires moving the bone to its right place by applying external force along with plaster of Paris and splints so that your bone holds steady in the position and reattaches perfectly. This is followed by some exercises for relieving pain, and once the pain decreases, exercises for building the strength of arms is suggested. In cases where rather than a hairline fracture, the bone has broken, surgery is needed. Here, metal plates or rods are used to connect the fragments of the bone.


  1. What are the common reasons for shoulder injuries?

The anatomy of the shoulder joint makes it vulnerable and susceptible to injuries. The humerus head is perfectly supported and aligned by muscles and the ligaments surrounding the joint. When these muscles become imbalanced or ligaments are strained, it results in shoulder injury. Posture also plays an important role in imbalances of the shoulder muscles, as curved shoulders result in enhanced muscle tightness in the front part of the shoulder and weakness in the back part. Bad posture often results in shoulder injuries. Some other common reasons for shoulder injuries are:

  • Lifting heavy things at an awkward angle
  • Lifting objects above the height of the shoulder
  • Repeating movements that cause shoulder stress


  1. What are some common shoulder injuries?

Some of the common shoulder injuries that occur are:

Shoulder sprain
This is the overstretching of ligaments that join bones with one another.

This shoulder injury happens when a tendon or a muscle is overstretched.

It is inflammation of tendons surrounding the shoulder joint.

Shoulder dislocation
This is a shoulder injury where the bone gets displaced from the shoulder joint.

Rotator cuff injury
This type of injury occurs in the rotator cuff muscles such as tears because of aging, tissue degeneration, or falling on outstretched hands.


  1. When should you see a healthcare provider for a shoulder injury?

Shoulder injuries are not life-threatening and most of them resolve with proper rest, ice application and other such conservative treatments. But you should visit a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever with extreme pain
  • Feeling as if the shoulder might pop out of your socket
  • Deformity around the shoulder
  • No being able to move your shoulder
  • Bruising around the shoulder
  • Swelling
  • Pain persists more than one week
  • Numbness in hands and fingers
© Copyright 2022 Bangalore Shoulder Institute