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Glenohumeral Joint arthritis

Glenohumeral DJD and Shoulder Replacement

Glenohumeral degenerative joint disease (GDJD), also known as osteoarthritis of the shoulder, is a condition characterized by degeneration or wearing away of the protective cartilage that covers the ends of your bones (articular cartilage). As a result of degeneration of the articular cartilage the ends of the two bones rub together and form bony growths (osteophytes).

The shoulder is a 'ball-and-socket' joint. The shoulder joint is also called as glenohumeral joint, the joint formed by gelnoid and humerus bones. The shoulder joint is formed when a 'ball' at the top of the upper arm bone, humerus, fits neatly into a 'socket', the glenoid, which is part of the shoulder blade.

Glenohumeral DJD 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.

A person with glenohumeral DJD 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.

To diagnose glenohumeral DJD, your doctor will take a medical history and performs a physical examination of your shoulder. X-rays of an arthritic shoulder may be useful to see osteophytes and loss of joint space.

Treatment for glenohumeral DJD includes both nonsurgical treatment and surgical treatment. Non surgical treatment includes use of anti-inflammatory medications, applying ice, moist heat to joint, performing range-of-motion exercises and physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and dietary supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin.

Surgery may be indicated if nonsurgical 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.

Shoulder replacement

Shoulder joint replacement is a surgical procedure performed to replace the damaged shoulder joint with the artificial joint parts. Shoulder joint replacement is usually performed when the joint is severely damaged by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, avascular necrosis, and failed former shoulder replacement surgery.

During the surgery an incision is made over the affected shoulder to expose the shoulder joint. The humerus is separated from the glenoid socket of the scapula. The arthritic part of the humeral head and the socket is removed and prepared so as to take the artificial components. The glenoid component is then pressed into the socket, and the humeral component is cemented into the upper arm bone. The humeral head component made of metal is then placed on the humeral stem. The artificial components are fixed in place. The joint capsule is stitched together. The muscle and tendons are then repaired and the skin is closed.

Possible risks and complications specific to shoulder joint replacement surgery include:

  • Infection around an implanted joint
  • Dislocation or instability of an implanted joint
  • Fracture of the humerus or scapula
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
  • Wound irritation
  • Arm length discrepancies
  • Wearing of the joints
  • Scar formation