Shoulder Osteoarthritis (OA) and Replacement2016-10-12T12:39:57-04:00

Shoulder Osteoarthritis (OA) and Replacement


What is Shoulder Osteoarthritis?

Shoulder OA is osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. It is a degenerative joint disease that comes from wear and tear with age and degeneration of cartilage that covers the joint surface. With diminished cartilage, inflammation, irritation, pain and swelling can occur. The progression of this disease leads to bone spurs, which is caused by the ends of two bones rubbing together.  

Also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis is a condition that destroys the smooth outer covering (articular cartilage) of bone. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective space between the bones decreases. During movement, the bones of the joint rub against each other, causing pain.

Osteoarthritis usually affects people over 50 years of age and is more common in the acromioclavicular joint than in the glenohumeral shoulder joint.

Symptoms of OA

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that produces symptoms gradually, usually after the age of 50. Over time, the shoulder may become tender after activities, and range of motion may be limited. Often, there is a chronic low-grade level of pain with intermittent flare-ups of moderate to severe pain depending on the condition of the remaining cartilage. The cartilage itself does not contain nerves, so the source of pain comes from friction between the bones.

Pain can quickly change the quality of your life. At Sideline Orthopedics, we understand the chronic pain of osteoarthritis. We offer treatments for osteoarthritis including cortisone injections, physical rehabilitation and joint replacement. Our top priority is to alleviate your pain while restoring function to your shoulder and arm. We want you to have the best possible quality of life and enjoy the activities you love.

Non-Surgical Treatment for OA

There are many treatment options for patients suffering with osteoarthritis. Depending on the severity of your condition, how much cartilage remains, and your lifestyle requirements, treatment can begin with periodic rest. As each treatment becomes less effective, we can progress to the next level of treatment such as:

  • Activity modification.
  • Warm and cold compresses.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Physical therapy combined with strengthening exercises.
  • Steroid injections.

Surgical Treatment for OA

For patients suffering from advanced stage osteoarthritis, the following treatments are generally recommended:

  • Shoulder arthroscopy can be used in younger patients with more mild disease. It is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that removes loose pieces of damaged cartilage and releases contracted capsule.
  • Shoulder arthroplasty is a total joint replacement surgery in which the glenohumeral joint (the ball and socket joint in the shoulder) is replaced with an artificial one.

Pain relief is very high with successful replacement.

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