Osteoarthritis of any joint is defined as wear and tear of the joint surfaces. The end of the bones which forms the joint are covered with a cartilage called hyaline cartilage. This cartilage makes ends of bones smooth so that the moments of the joint are relatively smooth and frictionless. This cartilage undergoes wear and tear-wet time and is a cause of irregular or not so smooth moments of the joint.
Shoulder arthritis can be painful and make activities such as throwing a ball, lifting a heavy dish from a high cupboard, or even steering a car difficult. The shoulder is engaged in almost all arm movements, so painful movement of the shoulder joint affects many everyday activities. The Osteoarthritis of the shoulder is not as common as the Osteoarthritis of the knee, it has been increasing in incidents in past few years. More importantly, it is not diagnosed properly and hence patients continue to suffer.
The various causes of wear and tear of cartilage are
- Age-related issues(commonly affects people over the age of 50)
- Any injury to the joint
- Certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
All of these conditions cause the cartilage to undergo degeneration and wear and tear. As a result, the patient feels the increase in pain, swelling in the joint and difficulty to move the joint. Also, the movements of joint may be associated with sounds like crepitus.
The diagnosis of Osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint is usually done using x-rays and clinical examinations of the joint. Once it has been established that the joint is arthritic then the patient usually goes through conservative treatment methods and techniques like medicines(Analgesics, Topical analgesics, NSAIDs) exercise, physiotherapy(provides targeted exercises that help maintain the ability to perform everyday tasks such as walking, bathing, and dressing) etc or an intra articular injection. But all these processes will not make any difference in advance stage as most patients will need a shoulder replacement.
Shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure in which all or part of the glenohumeral joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant. Such joint replacement surgery is generally conducted to relieve arthritis pain or fix severe physical joint damage. It has become a popular procedure all over the world because of it’s improved results in the past few years. In this procedure, the worn out ends of the bone which make the shoulder joint is replaced with an implant made of high-grade metal. Overall, the success percentage of joint replacement these days is more than 90%. Shoulder joint replacement is primarily of 3 types
- Resurfacing of the head of the humerus
- Total shoulder replacement in which both the surfaces that are the ball of the head of the humerus and Socket of the glenoid are replaced by the implant
- Reverse shoulder replacement in which the polarity of the shoulder joint is reversed
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