Shoulder pathology in osteoarthritis | When your shoulder is dying

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion complication and risks

Ross Hauser, MD

In this article we will examine the shoulder that is in the process of dying and in need of replacement. This is a shoulder with osteoarthritis damage, instability and weakness.

Our website is filled with articles and research on shoulder problems. Usually these article center around a specific diagnosis such as Rotator Cuff TendinopathySlap lesions of the shoulderFrozen Shoulder – Adhesive CapsulitisThe glenoid labrumSnapping Scapula SyndromeBone Spurs in the Shoulder, Acromioclavicular joint instability and osteoarthritis, and other problems.

In this article we will discuss Shoulder pathology in osteoarthritis as a “whole joint,” or “whole organ failure”, that leads to your shoulder dying.

Is saying your shoulder is dying an exaggerated or overly dramatic statement? Let’s explore some new research and then you can decide.

This is September 2017 from researchers at Hallym University Medical Center in South Korea published in the Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery.1 Here are the highlights:

Comment: Messages from within the joint are many, panicked, causing confusion evidenced by heightened shoulder pain. The messages are in essence an SOS for a sinking ship and a dying shoulder.

Oxidative Stress and “degenerative treatments”

In our 25 years experience in seeing patients with chronic joint and back pain, one of the biggest challenges we face is treating a patient who has had long-term conservative care that included what we call “degenerative treatments.” Degenerative treatments cause oxidative stress in joints.

Here are two examples of degenerative treatments and one-side effect.

Continue on with your research by reading our article How stem cells heal degenerative joint disease after years of cortisone and painkillers

If you have questions about your shoulder pain, you can get help and information form our  Caring Medical staff.


1 Noh KC, Park SH, Yang CJ, Lee GW, Kim MK, Kang YH. Involvement of synovial matrix degradation and angiogenesis in oxidative stress–exposed degenerative rotator cuff tears with osteoarthritis. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 2017 Sep 28.

2. Zhang JM, An J. Cytokines, inflammation and pain. International anesthesiology clinics. 2007;45(2):27.


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