Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I'm going to have my left shoulder joint replaced because of severe arthritis. The doctor told me that he might only replace half the joint. What is this decision based on?


Replacing the entire shoulder joint is called a total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). Removing only one-half of the joint is a hemiarthroplasty.

The decision to replace part or all of a joint is made when the doctor looks inside the joint and sees the damage. A study at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation reports that a patient with decreased outward rotational motion will do better with a TSA. Likewise, severe bone damage and thinning requires a TSA.

Patients with a stable joint that doesn’t dislocate do well with a hemiarthroplasty.

Joseph P. Iannotti, MD, PhD, and Tom R. Norris, MD. Influence of Preoperative Factors on Outcome of Shoulder Arthroplasty For Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. February 2003. Vol. 85-A. No. 2. Pp. 251-258.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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