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Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Shoulder osteoarthritis is a common condition that occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones in the shoulder joint begins to wear away. Here is a detailed description of shoulder osteoarthritis, including its anatomy, mechanism of injury, non-operative and operative treatments, and recovery:




The shoulder joint is made up of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collarbone). The head of the humerus sits in a socket in the scapula called the glenoid fossa. The joint is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue that holds everything together, and the bones are covered with a layer of smooth cartilage that allows for smooth movement of the joint.


Mechanism of Injury:


Shoulder osteoarthritis typically develops over time as a result of wear and tear on the joint. As the cartilage in the joint begins to break down, the bones may begin to rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation. Factors that may increase the risk of developing shoulder osteoarthritis include age, previous injury to the joint, and certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.


Non-Operative Treatment:


Non-operative treatment for shoulder osteoarthritis typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and pain management. Rest can help to reduce pain and inflammation, while physical therapy can help to maintain range of motion and strength in the joint. Pain management may involve the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications, corticosteroid injections, or other treatments.


Operative Treatment:


Shoulder arthroplasty and reverse arthroplasty are surgical procedures used to treat severe shoulder arthritis or other conditions that cause pain and loss of function in the shoulder joint. These procedures involve replacing the damaged or diseased parts of the shoulder joint with artificial components.


Shoulder arthroplasty, also known as total shoulder replacement, involves replacing both the ball and socket of the shoulder joint with prosthetic components. The procedure may be recommended for patients with severe shoulder arthritis, rotator cuff tears, or other conditions that cause chronic shoulder pain and limit range of motion.


Reverse shoulder arthroplasty, on the other hand, is a newer procedure that involves reversing the position of the ball and socket components of the shoulder joint. In this procedure, the ball component is placed on the shoulder blade and the socket component is placed on the upper arm bone. This approach is often used in cases where the patient has a large rotator cuff tear, which makes a traditional shoulder replacement less effective.


Both types of procedures require 3-6 months of recovery time. After surgery, patients will typically undergo physical therapy to help improve range of motion and strengthen the shoulder muscles.

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