Design of Polyethylene Glenoid Components

  • Ian A. TrailEmail author


A range of factors, including general factors and those local to the shoulder, affect the long-term survival of the glenoid component in total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). Unfortunately many of these factors are unknown and, of the ones that have been determined, it is often unclear how they affect glenoid survival.

Of those that are known, general factors include the quality and amount of bone, which is highly dependent on the disease process (many rheumatoid arthritis patients have very thin osteoporotic bone), and patient attitudes towards, and expectations of, their prosthesis.

Local factors associated with the long-term survival of the glenoid component include: glenoid component design; glenoid preparation and cementing techniques; position and alignment of the glenoid component; position of the humeral head; and, finally, surgical technique.

If we are to improve the key outcome of TSA, which is survival of the glenoid component, the most important factor appears to be improved surgical technique, particularly exposure of the glenoid. Specifically, surgeons should be able to expose the posterior aspect of the glenoid easily. Secondly, the glenoid component should be inserted in the correct anatomical position, with instruments developed to allow alignment to the correct inclination, even in the presence of erosion. Thirdly, cementing techniques for fixation should continue to improve. Finally, further research is needed to determine the long-term survival of the anchor peg and the effect of more anatomical humeral head replacements.


Polyethylene glenoid component Pegged or keeled Bone ingrowth Metal back Glenoid preparation Cement Alignment Humeral head position 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wrightington Hospital, Upper Limb Research Department, Hall Lane, Appley BridgeWiganUK

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