Arthrosis in the shoulder


  • Omarthrosis
  • Shoulder Arthrosis


Osteoarthritis of the shoulder is an irreversible wear and tear of the cartilage in the shoulder joint. The bony shoulder main joint (lat. glenohumeral joint) consists of the humeral head (lat.

humeral head) and the glenoid cavity as part of the shoulder blade (lat. glenoid). The acromioclavicular joint (lat.

acromioclavicular joint), consisting of shoulder height (lat. acromion) and collarbone (lat. clavicle), is located in direct proximity and, like all joints, can be affected by arthrotic changes.

Due to the lower load, arthrosis occurs less frequently in the shoulder joint than in the hip or knee. The shoulder joint is mainly dependent on guidance by muscles and tendons. Injuries at these levels occur more frequently than arthrosis and should therefore be taken into account when dealing with complaints in the shoulder area. Examples of this and not to be equated with arthrosis of the shoulder are the calcified shoulder (tendinosis calcarea), the impingement syndrome or injuries to the rotator cuff.


The symptoms of arthrosis in the shoulder are unspecific and can hardly be distinguished from other shoulder diseases. Diffuse pain in the shoulder radiating into the upper arm or in the direction of the shoulder blade as well as restricted mobility can be signs of arthrosis. These complaints can increase under increased strain, especially when the arm is rotated (e.g. cleaning windows) and when working overhead.

Lying on the affected side can be painful, and everyday movements such as tying an apron and combing hair can become unbearable. Increased pain when lifting to the side would rather indicate an impingement syndrome (bursa/tendon incarceration under the acromion). Due to the usually well-covering soft tissue mantle of muscles (rotator cuff) and skin, swelling of the shoulder joint (e.g. due to inflammation of the mucous membrane) is not usually seen in connection with shoulder arthrosis.


As with all forms of arthrosis, it is important to distinguish between primary and secondary arthrosis in shoulder arthrosis. No cause can be found for primary omarthrosis (shoulder arthrosis). Certain activities such as: lead to increased mechanical stress on the shoulder joint when exercised frequently and can increase the risk of shoulder arthrosis.

Possible causes of secondary shoulder arthrosis are damage to the rotator cuff, usually injury or degenerative changes to the supraspinatus tendon. The muscular imbalance leads to incorrect loading with subsequent cartilage abrasion and after some time. Other possible causes of shoulder arthrosis are: are other possible causes of omarthrosis. – Swimming competitions

  • Play the violin
  • Paintwork
  • Overhead work etc. – Dislocations of the shoulder (shoulder luxations)
  • Fractures/bone fractures that extend into the joint space
  • Previous operations on the shoulder joint and
  • Infections of the shoulder joint