Guidelines for Managing Patients With Shoulder Arthritis

According to data from the CDC, more than 51 million Americans have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis, and the estimated annual cost for medical care of arthritis and joint pain was $281.5 billion in 2004. Arthritis of the glenohumeral joint can be the result of primary osteoarthritis, posttraumatic deformity, inflammatory arthritis, sepsis, or avascular necrosis. Epidemiological data suggest that the incidence of glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis is more common in women and appears to increase with age. The risk of shoulder arthritis is increased by a history of injury or surgery to the shoulder. “Patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the shoulder experience pain, progressive loss of function, and diminished quality of life,” says Rolando Izquierdo, MD. “Shoulder replacement surgery has become the third most common joint surgery, following hip and knee replacements, due to the increasing burden of glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis. Most treatments for glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis are associated with some known risks, especially invasive and operative treatments. Contraindications can also vary widely based on the treatment administered. As such, discussion of available treatments and procedures that may be applicable to patients should rely on mutual communication with physicians. This dialogue should weigh the potential risks and benefits for each patient, based on their individual medical characteristics.” Evidence-Based Guidelines The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recently released an evidence-based clinical practice guideline on the treatment of glenohumeral joint osteoarthritis in adults aged 19 and older. The guideline provides information on patient management after the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the glenohumeral joint. The final treatment guidelines contain 16 recommendations and include both operative and non-operative treatment options (Table)....