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Shoulder arthritis? What patients need to know before treatment
Date:7/15/2010

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has approved and released an evidence-based clinical practice guideline on "The Treatment of Glenohumeral Joint Osteoarthritis." This major joint in the shoulder the ball and socket joint is sometimes affected by osteoarthritis, causing pain, loss of function, and reduced quality of life.

According to Rolando Izquierdo, MD, chair of the Academy work group on glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis, shoulder replacement surgery has been routinely performed since the 1970s for patients with advanced osteoarthritis of the shoulder. A review of the literature supports the use of both total and partial shoulder replacement for this population.

"The literature suggests, though, that pain relief is better and motion is better with total joint replacements than with partial replacements," says Dr. Izquierdo. "We also have to consider the 14 percent failure rate of partial replacements, which then require revision to total replacements. This revision is required due to progressive arthritis and pain.

"Because of a scarcity of high quality prospective studies, however, surgeons have few measures to support non-operative therapies for treating osteoarthritis of the shoulder," he adds.

The final treatment guidelines for treating glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis contain 16 recommendations. These include both operative and non-operative treatment options. Some important recommendations include the following:

  • One industry-supported study demonstrated that viscosupplementation shows a statistically significant benefit in pain relief, range of motion, and quality of life in patients with osteoarthritis of the shoulder. Essentially, viscosupplementation is a synthetic reproduction of a naturally occurring joint fluid that lubricates joints. Doctors inject synthetically created molecules, similar to the natural joint fluid, into an arthritic joint. Viscosupplementatio
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Contact: Lauren Pearson
pearson@aaos.org
847-384-4031
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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