PTD0116_ShoulderOsteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when cartilage that cushions the joint wears down, causing pain and swelling as the ends of two bones rub together. Although you may be more familiar with arthritis in the knee and hip, it can also affect the shoulder.

Although most of us know someone who has had a hip or knee replaced, it is also possible for the shoulder to degenerate to the point that replacement is necessary. However, in many cases physicians opt for a resurfacing of the shoulder—specifically, the head of the humerus.

The shoulder joint is made up of the upper arm bone, or humerus, which ends in a ball that fits into the circular depression, or socket, of the scapula bone. (The socket itself is called the glenoid.) Nonsurgical treatments for shoulder osteoarthritis include rest, range-of-motion exercises and over-the-counter pain medications. Some cases, however, require surgical intervention in the form of humerus resurfacing. In this procedure, the physician replaces either all or part of the head of the humerus with a smooth metal ball. Unlike a total shoulder replacement, resurfacing surgery preserves the glenoid and some of the head of the humerus.

Following humerus resurfacing surgery, you will likely wear a sling for about four weeks. During that time, we will work with your physician to develop a program of gentle

range-of-motion exercises to begin the healing and recovery process. Over the next several months, we will gradually add exercises designed to build strength in your arms and get you back to your daily routine.

Surgical treatment of shoulder arthritis is generally very effective in reducing pain and restoring range of motion. If your physician tells you that you are a good candidate for shoulder resurfacing, we will work with you and your physician to ensure that your road to recovery is a smooth one, and that you are back to performing daily activities as soon as possible.

January PTEDigest Includes:
Exercise Helps Control Asthma
Can TENS Relieve Low-back Pain?
Build Up Your Middle to Reduce Knee Pain
Laying Down a New Surface on Your Shoulder

Download PTEDigest January 2016