Glenohumeral Joint Osteoarthritis

Background

This is a cause of pain in the shoulder and like most arthritic problems tends to increase with wear and tear on a joint. It is common in people who have worked a lot in their lives with lifting heavy objects and in sports people that have been involved in throwing sports.

Treatment

Initial treatment is to control pain and maintain range of motion with painkillers and physiotherapy. If pain persists then joint preservation measures such as injections, such as platelet rich plasma or hyaluronic acid, may help with the pain and limited movement. Eventually joint replacement may be required and this involves an operation replacing the natural ball and socket shoulder joint with a metallic ball and a plastic coating to the socket.

Rehab

The recovery from the surgery is slow and steady. During the operation some muscles have to be cut in order to gain access to the shoulder joint so the rehab is limited to the recovery of these muscles. The pain of the arthritis is exchanged for the standard post-operative pain, which improves with time. It is important to work with our physiotherapy team and regularly perform the exercises in order to build strength and movement back into the shoulder. Recovery to the point of driving is normally in the region of 8 to 12 weeks post-operatively.