To improve implant design, fixation and preclinical testing, implant manufacturers depend on realistic data of loads acting on the shoulder joint. Furthermore, these data can help to optimize physiotherapeutic treatment and to advise patients in their everyday living conditions. Calculated shoulder joint loads vary extremely among different authors [Anglin C, Wyss UP, Pichora DR. Glenohumeral contact forces. Proc Inst Mech Eng [H] 2000;214:637-44]. Additionally the moments acting in the joint caused by friction or incongruent articular surfaces, for example, are not implemented in most models. An instrumented shoulder joint implant was developed to measure the contact forces and the contact moments acting in the glenohumeral joint. This article provides a detailed description of the implant, containing a nine-channel telemetry unit, six load sensors and an inductive power supply, all hermetically sealed inside the implant. The instrumented implant is based on a clinically proven BIOMET Biomodular shoulder replacement and was calibrated before implantation by using complex mathematical calculation routines in order to achieve an average measuring precision of approximately 2%.