Shoulder Joint Resurfacing Surgery

During a shoulder replacement procedure the ball of the shoulder joint (humeral head) is removed and replaced with a metal ball and a stem, which is then placed inside the hollow shaft of the humerus. The shoulder socket (glenoid) is also replaced during a total shoulder joint replacement.

Shoulder Joint Resurfacing surgery is an alternative to shoulder joint replacement surgery, leaving more of the patients natural bone intact than a shoulder replacement procedure.

While still major surgery, resurfacing is considered a more conservative approach to repair the shoulder joint than an arthroplasty (replacement)

Instead of cutting the damaged humeral head and placing a metal ball in its place, the end of the damaged humerus bone is shaved and a metallic cap is placed over it. Resurfacing the humeral head with a cap helps to retain the integrity of the shoulder joint.

Because the humeral head is capped rather than replaced, the procedure has less risks associated with it then a replacement procedure. A metal ball implant (used in shoulder replacement surgery) can potentially wear or loosen over time and require correction.

Other benefits include a quicker recovery and less pain when compared to a joint replacement procedure because the procedures is less traumatic. If a revision surgery is necessary down the road, it will be less complicated. While revision surgery may be needed a result of complications, its more commonly needed by patients who have outlived the life of an implant.


This procedure is done under general anesthesia and a patient who has having their shoulder joint resurfacing should expect to stay in the hospital for a few days following surgery. A sling will be worn for a number of weeks and exercise will be needed to help restore range of motion and strength to the shoulder joint.

In addition to exercises that can be done at home, physical therapy will recommended.

Who Qualifies For Shoulder Resurfacing?

A patient who qualifies for this procedure will only have moderate arthritis isolated to the humeral head, are typically younger, have a sufficient amount of healthy bone, and healthy joint space.

Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeons At The CMD

If you are experiencing limited shoulder mobility, swelling or pain in your shoulder joint, schedule an appointment with one of our shoulder specialist for an accurate diagnosis, evaluation and treatment options.

Most patients do not require a surgical procedure to manage their pain and symptoms. If surgery is required, our team of specialist use the most current and advanced techniques to help you return to an active and pain free life style.