Degenerative Joint Disease of the Shoulder
Degenerative arthritis of the shoulder is an increasing cause of shoulder pain in both the young and elderly populations. Arthritis often requires joint replacement similar to total hip and knee replacements. Pain and stiffness often progress to night pain and pain that prevents activities such as tennis, golf, and weight lifting. When pain and functional deficits necessitate joint replacement, it is a successful procedure to relieve pain and improve function.
Pain involves the upper aspect of the arm and is made worst with movement of the arm. The pain is often worst at night. Arthritis develops when the normal smooth cartilage on the end of the bone dies and flakes off the bone to cause increased friction between the moving parts of the joint. This leads to inflammation, stiffness, and pain.
Treatment of Shoulder Arthritis Pain
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Modification of activities
- Shoulder replacement surgery
What are the Conditions that Lead to Shoulder Replacement?
- Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of the normal cartilage related to wear and tear as well as genetic factors
- Inflammation arthritis, such as Rheumatoid arthritis, is an autoimmune disease that causes destruction of the joint leading to pain and decreased function
- Post-traumatic arthritis may develop after a previous injury such as a fracture, shoulder dislocation, or trauma to the labrum and cartilage.
- Avascular necrosis occurs when the blood supply to the bone is disrupted causing the bone to die and collapse
Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Knoxville, TN
The surgery is about a 2 hour operation that replaces the ball of the shoulder (humeral head) with a metal ball attached to a stem. A plastic socket is placed on the bony socket (glenoid) to allow a smooth articulation of the joint. The surgery can be performed as a Same Day surgery or as a one night stay. A sling is worn for 4-6 weeks to protect the subscapularis muscle which is cut and repaired during placement of the prosthesis. A full return to activity and sports such as golf and tennis are expected at 3 months.