For more information on our recent data notice, please click here


Shoulder Reconstruction and Replacement

UC San Diego Health is a high-volume surgery center for shoulder reconstruction and replacement. This means your UC San Diego Health surgeon has the expertise and experience to safely perform highly technical surgery for your condition.  

Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint made up of the:

  • Scapula, the shoulder blade
  • Humerus, the upper arm bone. Its rounded head (the ball) fits into the shallow shoulder socket
  • Glenoid, the shoulder socket
  • Articular cartilage, smooth, flexible tissue that protects and covers the ends of your bones at a joint and enables them to glide over each other without friction
  • Muscles and tendons

Types of Shoulder Surgeries

Shoulder replacement involves replacing the bones of the shoulder joint with artificial components. We offer several surgical approaches to replace or resurface the joint. You have a treatment option that is right for you.

X-ray of Shoulder Replacement

Total Shoulder Replacement 

This involves replacing both the head of the humerus and the shoulder socket. The replacement ball is attached to a stem which is secured into your upper arm bone.

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

A reverse total shoulder replacement switches the location of the ball and socket to enable a person to use different muscles for shoulder movement. The ball is attached to the shoulder bone and the socket is attached to your upper arm bone.

Partial Shoulder Replacement

This involves replacing only the head of the humerus and is used when the socket is healthy and doesn't need to be replaced.

Shoulder Resurfacing 

Young, active patients with joint degeneration limited to the head of the humerus may be candidates for resurfacing. Shoulder resurfacing involves capping the head of the humerus with a prosthesis. The approach eliminates the need for a long-stem implant.

Orthopedics Appointments and Referrals

Shoulder Replacement Surgeon


La Jolla