Published: Sept. 26, 2011
Updated: Mar. 20, 2012
Shoulder degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis of the shoulder, occurs when the shoulder joint's cartilage -- a smooth, protective tissue covering the tops of bones and allowing joints to move easily -- wears down over time. This causes the ends of the two bones in the joint to rub together.
When the shoulder joint's cartilage deteriorates and loses its cushioning ability, heavy use may increase deterioration. Common causes include:
Degenerative shoulder joint disease is often characterized by:
A physical examination of the shoulder, with focus on its range of motion, enables the doctor to diagnose degenerative shoulder joint disease.
Your doctor may also use x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out underlying conditions such as soft tissue damage or rotator cuff injury and to detect possible bone spurs and calcium deposits.
Degenerative shoulder joint disease is often treated with:
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the joints. Sometimes, total shoulder replacement surgery is an option. Your surgeon will work with you to determine if surgery is the best treatment option.
Duke Orthopaedics treats degenerative shoulder joint disease at locations convenient to Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Watch an educational video about shoulder degenerative joint disease, or shoulder arthritis.
At Duke Orthopaedics, our doctors often treat severe shoulder degenerative joint disease with intracapsular injection. The following video demonstrates this procedure.
At Duke Orthopaedics, our doctors sometimes treat severe shoulder degenerative joint disease with total shoulder replacement. The following video demonstrates this procedure.