Shoulder osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs when the cartilage surface of the shoulder is worn out or damaged. Shoulder osteoarthritis can be caused by previous injuries, like shoulder dislocation and fracture, or can be a result of normal wearing of the joint cartilage from age and activity.
The shoulder joint is made up of the humerus and scapula in the upper arm. Cartilage on the bones protect the shoulder joint. Shoulder osteoarthritis is when the smooth cartilage surface of the shoulder is worn out and the bones of the joint begin to rub against each other.
Shoulder arthritis is diagnosed after thorough history and physical exam with your orthopedic provider. X-rays will also be taken to confirm the arthritis and evaluate the severity of the arthritis. MRI of the shoulder can identify the extent of any tendon, ligament or other soft tissue injury.
Surgical treatment options for Shoulder Arthritis includes
1) Total Shoulder Replacement which involves removing the damaged joint surfaces and replacing them with artificial components.
2) Shoulder arthroscopy is also an option where a camera is inserted into the shoulder joint to remove loose pieces of bone or cartilage, and repair any damaged muscles or tendons.
Surgery for Shoulder Arthritis is generally successful at reducing pain and improving function of the Shoulder. Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process. This is usually for 2-3 months after surgery to improve range of motion, and to strengthen and stabilize the muscles around the shoulder.
**Disclaimer: Treatment recommendations may vary depending on your true diagnosis. Always follow the recommendations of your orthopedic provider.