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 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. While this
surgery is not yet commonly available, there are several advantages to this procedure over the
current TSA technique.
Using small incisions and tools, Dr. Chudik is able to view the shoulder joint using an
arthroscopic camera. Using the same incisions and portals, the surfaces of the humerus and
glenoid are prepared with special tools, and then cartilage from a cadaver donor is attached to
the bones, restoring the smooth surfaces. The biologic resurfacing is arthroscopic rather than the traditional open procedure, meaning that Dr. Chudik does not have to cut through any of the rotator cuff muscles to access the shoulder joint. This allows a better recovery without concern of rehabilitating a repaired rotator cuff. Research trials are currently in progress, and the future is promising for this procedure and others like it.
Patients may return to activities when rehabilitation is complete and functional use has been
restored. This usually requires four to six months following a total shoulder arthroplasty. Dr.
Chudik has special protocols for returning to golf and other recreational activities.