Glenohumeral arthritis is a degenerative joint disease affecting the shoulder. It is characterized by degeneration or wearing away of the protective cartilage (articular cartiage) covering the ends of the bones in the joint. As the articular cartilage degenerates, the bone ends rub against each other causing inflammation and pain.
The main joint in the shoulder is a ‘ball-and-socket’ joint. The ‘ball’ at the top of the upper arm bone, humerus, fits neatly into a ‘socket’, the glenoid, which is part of the shoulder blade. Hence It is also called the glenohumeral joint.
What are the Causes of Glenohumeral Arthritis?
Glenohumeral arthritis is most often seen in people over 50 years. It can also develop after an injury or trauma to the shoulder. The condition may also be hereditary.
What are the Symptoms of Glenohumeral Arthritis?
A person with glenohumeral arthritis is likely to have tenderness and shoulder pain that aggravates during activity. Swelling of the joint may also be seen. You may hear a clicking or creaking sound as you move your shoulder.
How is Glenohumeral Arthritis Diagnosed?
To diagnose glenohumeral arthritis, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical examination of your shoulder. X-rays of an arthritic shoulder may be useful to see osteophytes and loss of joint space.
What are the Treatment Options for Glenohumeral Arthritis?
Treatment for glenohumeral arthritis includes both non-surgical treatment and surgical treatment. Non-surgical treatment includes use of anti-inflammatory medications, applying ice, moist heat to the joint, performing range-of-motion exercises and physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and dietary supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Surgery may be indicated if non-surgical treatments are not effective. Glenohumeral DJD can be surgically treated with two forms of replacement, hemiarthroplasty and total shoulder arthroplasty. In total shoulder arthroplasty, the entire shoulder joint is replaced with an artificial joint, where as in hemiarthroplasty, only the head of the upper arm bone is replaced.