The shoulder is a “ball” and “socket” joint. The ball is the humerus and the glenoid makes up the socket. The “ball” and “socket” are covered with articular cartilage which provides a smooth lubricated surface to allow the shoulder joint to move.
Shoulder arthritis occurs when one wears away the articular cartilage in the shoulder joint. Without the articular cartilage the two bones rub against each other, hence the common term “bone on bone” arthritis.
Symptoms of shoulder arthritis included shoulder pain, stiffness and loss of motion, and catching or clicking sounds.
Shoulder arthritis can be treated initially with conservative measures including physical therapy, oral medication, lifestyle modifications, and corticosteroid injections.
Surgically, shoulder arthritis is treated with shoulder arthroplasty (shoulder replacement).
Total shoulder arthroplasty involves the placement of a prosthesis made of the humerus and glenoid components. The surgical procedure usually lasts several hours.
Patients will have a regional anesthesia block and may undergo general anesthesia. The patient typically stays one night in the hospital.
Full recovery time is typically 6 months to 1 year.