Glenohumeral (shoulder) arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage covering the ends of the bones at the shoulder joint wears out. The shoulder is comprised of the glenoid (socket of the shoulder joint) and the humeral head (ball of the shoulder joint). The cartilage covering the glenoid and humeral head wears out from excessive joint loading over time in patients genetically susceptible to arthritis or following injury. Currently, the definitive treatment for shoulder arthritis is a total shoulder arthroplasty, in which the joint surfaces are replaced by metal and plastic components. However, there are new innovations under development, including biologic total shoulder resurfacing.
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