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Glenohumeral Arthritis

Treatment may begin with anti-inflammatories, painkillers, gentle exercising and resting the shoulder and the application of ice to the area to decrease pain and inflammation. Cortico-steroids can be injected directly into the joint if the pain persists.

The shoulder may respond well to Physiotherapy, and ultrasound in some cases, which aids the flow of blood to the shoulder tissue.

Arthritic changes affecting the glenohumeral joint are relatively uncommon. In these cases, it is important to establish the integrity of the rotator cuff. Cuff tear arthropathy (CTA) requires specific requirement to ensure restoration of movement.

Conservative management includes analgesia, physiotherapy and activity modification. Steroid injections and arthroscopic debridement have little effect.

Arthroscopy can be used to examine the interior of the joint to determine the damage to tendons, ligaments and cartilage and to make a diagnosis.


Sometimes surgery may be necessary, the most common procedure being Arthroplasty which is a shoulder replacement. A shoulder replacement involves prosthetic bones being used to rebuild the joint.

The debate continues between total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) and hemiarthroplasty. Implants vary from resurfacing to stemmed prosthesis; cemented and uncemented. In CTA then reverse geometry shoulder replacement is recommended.

Evidence has shown that stemmed TSA has better functional outcome than stemmed hemiarthroplasty. However, the resurfacing hemiarthroplasty has demonstrated better functional outcome than stemmed hemiarthroplasty. In TSA, the glenoid remain a main problem with significant failure rate.

Click here for information on rehabilitation for a Replacement Arthroplasty of the Shoulder

Click here for information on rehabilitation for a Reversed Total Shoulder Replacement