Osteoarthritis and the Senior Tennis Player
Tennis is a sport for life and as such many people continue to play well into older ages. In addition to normal aging processes affecting the shoulder, the biomechanical stresses of repetitive overhead sports activities make many older-age tennis players of all levels susceptible to osteoarthritic changes with time. In this chapter, we will define the degrees of osteoarthritis as well as outline the diagnostic tools and treatment options available to care for these maturing athletes.
Treatment modalities include conservative nonoperative interventions as well as surgical remedies. We have defined the surgical treatments as non-prosthetic to include arthroscopic treatments in milder clinical situations and prosthetic to describe joint replacement options for more severe cases. Arthroscopic techniques can give short- to moderate-term relief in milder cases of osteoarthritis, while in cases of true joint space narrowing and bone spurs, modern shoulder arthroplasty has given more durable and excellent pain relief and return to sports.
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