Shoulder Replacement

When severe shoulder pain starts interfering with daily activities, it may be time to consider surgical options designed to provide pain relief and freedom of movement. Over 60,000 Americans have shoulder replacement procedures each year, many experiencing pain relief and improved function.1 An increasing number of patients are returning to more active lifestyles thanks to advancements in the materials and procedures used in shoulder replacement. Today, shoulder replacement is the third most common joint replacement.2 In a study of patients with shoulder pain, more than 95% reported having less pain after shoulder replacement.3

Shoulder anatomy

Healthy Shoulder

Healthy Shoulder


Arthritic Shoulder

Arthritic Shoulder


[ back to top ]

Who is a candidate for shoulder replacement?

You may benefit from shoulder replacement if:

  • Painful movement limits not only work and recreation, but impacts daily activities of normal living.
  • Sleep is disturbed due to pain in your shoulder or arm.
  • Pain relief is unsuccessful using traditional approaches such as medication, injections, or physical therapy.
  • The shoulder is stiff and arm movement is limited. There may be a grinding or catching sensation as the bone surfaces move against one another.
  • X-rays or MRI shows arthritis or other problems.

[ back to top ]

What makes up a total shoulder replacement?

In total shoulder replacement surgery, the ball of the humerus and socket of the scapula (glenoid) are replaced with specially designed components.


shoulder replacement


The humeral implant consists of a metal ball that replaces the head of the humerus, and a stem that is secured into the main arm bone (humerus).

The humeral stem is made of titanium for maximum strength. The head is made of cobalt chrome to provide a smooth surface for movement with the glenoid component, which is made of medical-grade polyethylene.

The metal ball and stem are selected by your surgeon from multiple sizes to fit the contour and shape of your humerus. This two-piece construction is known as a modular implant. This modularity allows your surgeon to closely replicate your natural shoulder.

If your surgeon uses only the metal humeral components (humeral head and stem), the procedure is called a partial shoulder replacement. If your surgeon uses both the humeral components and the glenoid implant, the procedure is called a total shoulder replacement. Your surgeon will decide which procedure to use based on the extent of damage to your shoulder.

[ back to top ]

Why DePuy shoulder implants?

Every day innovative orthopaedic solutions from DePuy help improve lives. What began over a century ago as the first commercial orthopaedics company in the U.S. is today a global leader in orthopaedic devices and supplies, including hip, knee, extremity, trauma, cement, and operating room products. DePuy shoulders are designed to closely reproduce the smooth, complex movement of the natural shoulder. That’s why each DePuy shoulder implant is based on detailed studies of the shoulder, its structure and function to help you keep moving.

DePuy shoulders incorporate technologically advanced materials designed to resist the type of wear that typically occurs in shoulder joints. For example, Premieron™ cross-linked polyethylene, used to replace the shoulder socket (glenoid) and replicate the smooth cartilage surface reduces wear by 85% over traditional polyethylene.4 The less wear, the longer a new shoulder can be expected to last. However, all shoulder implants may need replacement at some point.

DePuy Global® AP® Adjustable Neck Shoulder System


Global AP Adjustable Neck Shoulder Replacement System

[ back to top ]

Why choose the DePuy Global AP Shoulder?

The DePuy Global AP Shoulder is the latest advancement in a trusted line of shoulder implants from DePuy that dates back decades. Your shoulder joint is as unique as you are. The variation from person to person is due to differences in size, shape and angle of the bones, as well as other natural variations. With the DePuy Global AP system, your surgeon can adjust the shoulder implant to replicate the precise angles of your natural alignment, which help restore the smooth, natural movement of the shoulder.

[ back to top ]

What are the possible benefits and risks?

The DePuy Global AP Shoulder is made of advanced metals and a high-tech cross-linked polyethylene specially designed for long-lasting durability. It is important to note that only an orthopaedic surgeon trained in total shoulder replacement can provide advice about whether total shoulder replacement surgery and the DePuy Global AP System are right for you. Individual results with any medical treatment may vary.

DePuy Global® Advantage® Shoulder System

Shoulder System

[ back to top ]

Why choose the Global Advantage Shoulder System?
  • Multiple sizes

       Your new shoulder must fit correctly or it won’t be stable. If it doesn’t fit, you may not be able to move your arm and shoulder freely or notice less pain after surgery.5 Matching the size and type of the shoulder implant to your body is one of your surgeon’s most important jobs. The DePuy Global Advantage System has 31 different humeral head options, as well as 13 different glenoid components, allowing for a more precise match of your natural shoulder.

  • Designed for Long-term stability

       When you move your shoulder, the head of the arm bone rotates within and also travels across your shoulder socket, unlike the simpler back and forth motion of your hip or knee. Earlier shoulder replacement implants did not address this kind of complex multi-directional movement. The DePuy Global Advantage System is designed to recreate the subtle intricacies that are a part of your shoulder's natural motion.

[ back to top ]


Only an orthopaedic surgeon trained in shoulder replacement can provide advice about whether shoulder replacement surgery is right for you. See your physician to learn more. The performance of a joint replacement depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with current infections or conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. The most common adverse events after shoulder replacement are loosening, infection, and fracture of the implant or bone. You and your surgeon must weigh the benefits of surgery against potential risks.

Adverse Events

The following are the most frequent adverse events after shoulder arthroplasty: change in position of the components, loosening of components, dislocation, infection, hematoma, pneumonia, and cardiovascular disorders.


1US Markets for Small Joint Devices. Toronto: Millenium Research Group; 2007.

2Joshi D. Total shoulder replacement—the 3rd most replaced joint in America! Available at: Accessed Jan. 27, 2009.

3McFarland EG. Shrug off shoulder surgery myth, Johns Hopkins study suggests. Available at: Accessed on Feb. 27, 2009.

4Klotz C, Deffenbaugh DL, McNulty D, et al. Cross-Linked Glenoid Prosthesis: A Wear Comparison to Current Glenoid Prostheses. Warsaw, IN: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.; 2006. Cat. No. 0612-00-585.

5Iannotti J, et al. Total shoulder arthroplasty: factors influencing prosthetic sizing. Op Tech Orth. 1994:4(4); 198.

6Iannotti J. Radiographic evaluation of a humeral stem designed for uncemented use. Data submitted as 2001 AAOS abstract.

[ back to top ]