Osteoarthritis of the shoulder is relatively uncommon compared to osteoarthritis of the lower limb joints.
This is mainly because the shoulder is a non-weight bearing joint and is not subject to the same biomechanical forces as hip and knee joints.
The main cause of shoulder osteoarthritis is age-related wear and tear. The second most common cause is post-traumatic arthritis following shoulder dislocations. One in five people who dislocate their shoulder develop some form of arthritic change.
Symptoms generally occur late in the disease. These include pain with activity, discomfort at night, and loss of movement. X-rays taken early in the disease are often normal.
Clinically the patients present with loss of both active and passive range of motion. An ultrasound will miss the pathology, so an x-ray should always be ordered for a patient with suspected osteoarthritis.
This condition can often be