Shoulder Bone Graft Surgery

Shoulder Bone Graft Surgery

If you’re an athlete who’s involved in contact sports, you may run the risk of developing bone loss in the socket of your shoulder, also known as the glenoid. Patients with bone loss may need a glenoid bone graft, making them candidates for shoulder instability surgery.

The team of surgeons at OrthoBethesda specializes in diagnosing and treating all shoulder conditions, including glenoid bone loss, for all residents of Bethesda, MD, and the surrounding areas.


What Is Shoulder Bone Graft Surgery?

Shoulder bone graft surgery takes bone graft from the patient or a cadaver to reconstitute the bone mass in the shoulder joint and restore stability and range-of-motion. This avoids shoulder dislocation and remedies bone loss.

When there’s shoulder instability, the ball — humeral bone — is forced to move out of the shoulder socket, also known as the glenoid bone, frequently. Recurrent shoulder instability can lead to bone loss in the ball and socket of the joint, dislocation and other shoulder joint complications.

While this surgery can improve shoulder joint stability, the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the health of the patient, and their motivation to obey the instructions of the surgeon and physical therapist.

Who Needs Shoulder Bone Graft Surgery?

Bone graft surgery is considered when instability or shoulder dislocations have occurred after a prior surgery for dislocations. Without this surgery, dislocations could happen more often. These frequent dislocations can raise the risk of damage to the rotator cuff, nerves, blood vessels and bones within the shoulder joint.


Using your medical history, your orthopedic surgeon can diagnose the failure of surgery for previous anterior dislocation. The surgeon can also diagnose your condition by performing a detailed examination of the joint and ordering imaging tests such as an x-ray.

The examination usually shows that the shoulder slips out of the socket even when pressed into it. This is known as a “load and shift” test. Also, shoulder x-rays may show that the rim of the glenoid socket is deficient or rounded due to wear-and-tear.

How Long Is Shoulder Bone Graft Surgery Recovery?

Recovery of comfort and full functioning of the shoulder joint after the surgery will go on for several months. Marked improvement will be evident after the first six weeks.

Early motion is essential after graft surgery to achieve optimal joint function. As the shoulder becomes more comfortable and flexible, you can begin more exercises and activities. A physical therapist will create a program of activities with a gradual increase in intensity as the patient’s shoulder becomes stronger.

Further Reading

The Ultimate Guide For Shoulder Recovery Surgery

Best Physical Therapy Methods for Treating Shoulder Pain and Injuries


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Contact OrthoBethesda to Discover if Shoulder Bone Graft Surgery Is the Best Option for You

To find out more about this surgical procedure and how it can help you restore the functioning of your shoulder, contact us at OrthoBethesda today. We use the most effective tools and techniques to help you relieve pain and regain the full strength of your shoulder. Call us now at (301) 530-1010 to book an appointment with one of our highly skilled orthopedic surgeons.