A common cause of shoulder pain is arthritis. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA) — sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition involving the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. When cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness. OA usually occurs in people aged 50 years and older, and frequently in individuals with a family history of osteoarthritis.
The most common cause of shoulder replacement, OA can occur without a shoulder injury. However, this seldom happens since the shoulder is not a weight-bearing joint like the knee or hip. Instead, shoulder OA commonly occurs many years following a shoulder injury, such as a dislocation, that has led to joint instability and repeated shoulder dislocations — damaging the shoulder joint so that OA develops.
Your Treatment Options for Shoulder Pain
Following an orthopaedic evaluation of your shoulder, your doctor will review and discuss the results with you. Based on his or her diagnosis, your treatment options may include:
- Physical therapy
- Shoulder joint fluid supplements (injections that provide temporary pain relief)
- Total shoulder joint replacement
When joint pain and stiffness become severe enough to affect your daily life and comfort, and when that pain is not relieved by other treatment options, shoulder replacement may be recommended.
Severe arthritis may lead to Shoulder Replacement Surgery.