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shoudler anatomy.jpg

1. This shows the anatomy of the shoulder joint, including the articular cartilage.


2. This X-Ray shows rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder.


4. Overuse from overhead sports like volleyball can lead to arthritis of the shoulder joint.


3. Overuse from overhead sports like weightlifting can lead to arthritic of the shoulder joint.

Shoulder Arthritis


Arthritis means inflammation (itis) of the joint (arthro). There are over a hundred types of arthritis that can affect any joint, but the three most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis inflames the joint over time, as the articular cartilage deteriorates, bone rubs against bone, and stiffness and pain ensue. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system targets and harms the articular cartilage. In post traumatic arthritis, arthritis develops after an injury to the knee, from broken bones to meniscus tears.

Shoulder Osteoarthritis

In osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, the articular cartilage degenerates over time, narrowing the joint space and causing bones to rub against each other, leading to pain and stiffness. Other symptoms of this issue include a loss of joint function, decreased range of motion, and crepitus. Crepitus describes abnormal noises like popping and cracking that occur when the joint moves. 


Treatment for osteoarthritis includes rest, ice, physical therapy, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroid injection . If conservative options do not succeed, there are multiple surgical possibilities. 

In shoulder arthroscopy, surgery is done with small incisions to debride (clean out) the joint. In arthroplasty, the shoulder is replaced, via one of three methods. In hemiarthroplasty, only the humeral head is replaced, while in both total shoulder arthroplasty and reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, both the humeral head and glenoid are replaced. According to the most recent clinical practice guidelines by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), arthroplasty has resulted in superior function and relief outcomes for short to mid term follow ups when compared to hemioplasty.

Attribution for Images

1. OpenStax College. “Shoulder Joint”. Wikimedia Commons, 19 May 2013,

2. Michele N Edison, Anthony Caram, Miguel A Flores, Kurt Scherer. “X-ray of rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder”. Wikimedia Commons,  1 August 2016,

3. Biser Todorov. “Bulgaria-serbia volley 2012”. Wikimedia Commons, 30 July 2011,

4. Sandro Halank. “2018-10-11 Snatch (Weightlifting Girls' 58kg) at 2018 Summer Youth Olympics by Sandro Halank”. Wikimedia Commons, 11 October 2018,

My Approach
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