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Shoulder Replacement, Resurfacing and Reconstruction

Women Exercising

UC San Diego Health's Center for Joint Care is a high-volume surgery center for shoulder replacement, resurfacing and reconstruction.

We have the experience and specialized expertise to perform highly technical surgical procedures to treat painful shoulder disorders and restore your range of motion.

Our orthopedic surgeons handle everything from arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs to total joint replacement.

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 fits into the 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

Shoulder Replacement Options

X-ray of Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement involves replacing the bones of the shoulder joint with artificial components. After careful evaluation of your specific condition, your care team may recommend one of a number of shoulder replacement options:

Total shoulder replacement (TSR), or total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA): This involves replacing both the ball (head of the humerus bone) and the socket (glenoid) of the shoulder joint. The replacement ball is attached to a stem which is secured into the humerus.

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 the humerus.

Partial shoulder replacement or hemiarthroplasty: This involves replacing just the head of the humerus (the ball) and is used when the socket (glenoid) is healthy and doesn't need to be replaced.

Shoulder resurfacing or resurfacing hemiarthroplasty: Young, active patients with joint degeneration only at the head of the humerus may be candidates for resurfacing. Shoulder resurfacing involves capping the head of the humerus with a Copeland prosthesis and eliminates the need for a long-stem implant.

Our upper extremity surgeons also perform elbow and wrist replacements.

Orthopedics Appointments and Referrals


La Jolla


Shoulder Replacement Surgeon