Alterations in surface geometry in retrieved polyethylene glenoid component

Jonathan P. Braman, Alexis Falicov, Richard Boorman, Frederick A. Matsen

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18 Scopus citations


This study characterized and quantified the changes found in retrieved glenoid polyethylene components found at revision shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). Twenty components obtained at revision TSA were evaluated, all from a system (Global, DePuy, Warsaw, IN) with a glenoid radius of curvature 3 mm greater than that of the humeral head. Laser surface scanning provided three-dimensional analysis of the surface of the glenoid component. Scans of unused components of similar sizes enabled determination of the changes occurring after implantation. Alterations in radius of curvature were noted in every glenoid. All showed loss of the balance stability angle (BSA, the maximal angle that the net humeral joint reaction force can make with the glenoid center line before the humeral head would dislocate) of at least 5° in one or more directions. Increase in BSA in one direction was seen in 11 of the components. In five of these, the increase was associated with a reduction of the local radius to match that of the humeral component. Glenoid surface morphology and stability can be changed by in vivo use. While correlation with clinical instability in the patients from whom the implants were obtained was not possible, many of the observed changes in surface morphology are of sufficient magnitude to compromise the contribution of the glenoid surface to shoulder stability. Three patterns of wear were identified: "humeral" that showed loss of the mismatch between the humeral and glenoid radii of curvature (5 of 20 components), "diffuse" that showed broad surface irregularity (18 of 20), and "rim" wear with loss of the polyethylene rim of the component (14 of 20). More than one type of wear was possible within a single gleonoid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1260
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Glenoid
  • Polyethylene
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • Wear


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