Glenohumeral osteoarthritis: what the surgeon needs from the radiologist

Flavio Duarte Silva, Shyam Ramachandran, Avneesh Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Glenohumeral osteoarthritis (GHOA) is a widely prevalent disease with increasing frequency due to population aging. Both clinical manifestations and radiography play key roles in the initial diagnosis, staging, and management decisions. Radiographic disease progression evaluation is performed using validated staging systems, such as Kellgren and Lawrence, Samilson, and Hamada. For young patients with mild to moderate GHOA and failed conservative treatment, arthroscopic preservation surgery (APS) is usually considered. Older patients and those with severe GHOA benefit from different types of arthroplasties. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is essential for APS surgical planning, as it maps repairable labral, cartilage, and rotator cuff lesions. For arthroplasty planning, the status of glenoid cartilage and intactness of rotator cuff as well as glenoid morphology represent key factors guiding the decision regarding the most suitable hardware design, whether resurfacing, partial, total, or reverse joint replacement. Pre-surgical MRI or alternatively computed tomography arthrogram is employed to evaluate the cartilage and rotator cuff. Finally, three-dimensional computed tomography (3D CT) is indicated to optimally assess the glenoid morphology (to determine Walch classification, version, inclination, and bone loss) and analyze the necessity for glenoid osteotomy or graft augmentation to correct the glenoid structural abnormalities for future success and longevity of the shoulder implants or chosen constructs. Understanding the purpose of each imaging and treatment modality allows more efficient image interpretation. This article reviews the above concepts and details what a surgeon needs from a radiologist and could benefit from accurate reporting of preoperative imaging studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSkeletal radiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Glenohumeral joint
  • OA
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Shoulder joint
  • Shoulder surgery planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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