Osteoarthritis (OA) of the shoulder is a chronic, progressive, and multifactorial disease characterized by degenerative and inflammatory processes affecting the glenohumeral joint. The incidence of primary OA has been reported as approximately 5 % of patients with shoulder complaints. Although OA in the shoulder is less common than OA of the knee or hip, OA can cause severe pain and dysfunction of the shoulder. Pathologic changes in shoulder OA involve the progressive breakdown of the articular cartilage within the glenohumeral joint starting with narrowing of the joint space and fibrillation of the surface, followed by osteochondral lesions, osteophyte formations, labrum degradation, capsular tightness, and inflammation. As OA may also affect supporting structures such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, shoulder joint degeneration can also be linked to secondary causes such as rotator cuff tendon tears, shoulder instability especially in young patients, and trauma.
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After capsular release, osteophytes are dissected and removed with a burr and/or a curved chisel, while the axillary nerve and accompany vessels remain protected by a Wissinger rod (MPG 11182 kb)
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