Osteoarthritis is an age-related "wear and tear". It usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older, but may occur in younger people too. The cartilage that cushions the bones of the shoulder softens and wears away. The bones then rub against one another. Over time, the Shoulder Joint slowly becomes stiff and painful.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent the development of osteoarthritis. It is a common reason people have a Shoulder Replacement Surgery.
This is a disease in which the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. This chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid Arthritis is the most common form of a group of disorders termed "Inflammatory Arthritis".
This can follow a serious Shoulder Injury. Fractures of the bones that make up the shoulder or tears of the shoulder Tendons or ligaments may damage the articular cartilage over time. This causes shoulder pain and limits Shoulder Function.
A patient with a very large, long-standing Rotator Cuff Tear may develop Cuff Tear Arthropathy. In this condition, the changes in the Shoulder Joint due to the rotator cuff tear may lead to arthritis and destruction of the joint cartilage.
Avascular Necrosis is a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the bone is disrupted. The bone cells die without a blood supply; Osteonecrosis can ultimately cause destruction of the Shoulder Joint and lead to arthritis. Chronic steroid use, deep sea diving, severe fracture of the Shoulder, sickle cell disease and heavy alcohol consumption are risk factors for Avascular Necrosis.
Partial or Total Shoulder Replacement is indicated for displaced three-part and four-part fractures in elderly patients, four-part fracture dislocations, head-splitting fractures and fractures include significant destruction of the articular surface.
Although uncommon, some Shoulder Replacements fail, most often because of implant loosening, infection and dislocation. When this occurs, a second Joint Replacement Surgery - called a revision surgery - becomes necessary.