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Shoulder Osteoarthritis Treatment in Doncaster

What is Shoulder Osteoarthritis

Art rendering of an X-Ray showing a bad shoulder

Shoulder Osteoarthritis Treatment in Doncaster

In a healthy shoulder, the surfaces of the ball and socket are covered with cartilage, which allows the bones to move smoothly over each other and acts as a shock absorber. In osteoarthritis, this cartilage degenerates, becoming thin, rough and uneven. The fluid-filled space in the joint gets smaller and bone rubs against bone, which is uncomfortable and can lead to bony lumps or spurs forming.

Shoulder arthritis refers to degenerative change in the joint, most commonly due to wear and tear. As we grow older, the cartilage lining of the bones in a joint slowly wears away. This thinning and loss of cartilage eventually leads to wear and tear of the bone itself and is called osteoarthritis. Other conditions such as inflammatory disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis), trauma and increased high-intensity use of the joint can also predispose to shoulder arthritis.

Rotator cuff arthropathy is a specific type of shoulder arthritis, in which there is severe arthritis and a large tear in the rotator cuff muscles that stabilise the shoulder joint.

The patients are mainly troubled by pain and stiffness affecting their quality of life.

Symptoms of shoulder osteoarthritis

Shoulder arthritis causes pain, stiffness and clicking or cracking during movement. The pain can be located on the side, front or back of the shoulder and may radiate into the neck or arm. In the early stages the pain may come on when using the arm, especially when lifting heavy objects or raising the limb. The pain can progress over time, until the shoulder is painful even at rest. Shoulder arthritis can make it difficult to dress, brush your hair or do up a seatbelt (Activities of daily living) and also can affect sleep.

Man holding his hurt shoulder that shows up red.

Management of shoulder arthritis

Through assessment of your shoulder by a specialist orthopaedic surgeon, so as to tailor a treatment programme according to individual requirements.

Investigations: X-rays, USS and CT scans are useful in diagnosis and planning treatment.

Following treatment are available:


Specialist physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections can reduce the pain and stiffness of shoulder arthritis. If these conservative measures have not provided relief, Shoulder joint replacement surgery will help to relieve pain and restore shoulder mobility.

Shoulder replacement

The choice of surgery depends on the age of the patient, the severity of the disease and the presence of other associated shoulder problems.

Shoulder replacement involves removing the arthritic joint surfaces and replacing them with a prosthetic device (ball and socket joint). This offers excellent relief pain relief and restores functional movement. There are several different types of shoulder replacement.

Shoulder joint replacement could involve replacing both sides of the joint (total shoulder replacement) or the humeral bone alone (Partial shoulder replacement)

Two types of total shoulder replacement are available: “Anatomic” and “Reverse”. The condition of the rotator cuff tendons within the shoulder determines which of these two types of shoulder replacement will be most appropriate – both types of shoulder replacement provide an equal degree of pain relief.

In an anatomic replacement, a plastic socket is cemented in place and a metal ball is fixed to the humeral joint surface (arm bone) and this could be stemless or stemmed.

In a “reverse” total shoulder joint replacement a metal hemisphere is implanted on the socket side of the shoulder joint and a plastic “socket” within a metal stem on the arm bone (humerus) side. This design of the total shoulder replacement is able to compensate for the lack of rotator cuff function by recruiting the large deltoid muscle to take on their work.

Your consultant surgeon will recommend the best option for you following a full evaluation of your shoulder.

Man in silhouette showing off his biceps.

Shoulder replacement surgery is carried out under general anaesthesia with a regional nerve block. Most patients who are admitted go home the next day.

Following surgery, you will wear an arm sling for 3-4 weeks. Your surgeon will instruct you to do gentle range of motion exercises to increase your mobility and strength. They will recommend a formal physical therapy program to strengthen your shoulder and improve flexibility.

You should be able to eat, dress, and groom yourself within a few days after surgery. Total shoulder replacement provides outstanding pain relief and patient satisfaction is typically very high.

If you have any questions or simply want to find out more about Shoulder Osteoarthritis Treatment in Doncaster please get in touch with us.


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