Omarthrosis refers to the painful wear of the shoulder joint. How an osteoarthrosis develops and what you can do about it, read here!


The omarthrosis (Shoulder osteoarthritis) is a degenerative joint disease of the shoulder joint. For certain injuries and illnesses it occurs more often. Omarthrosis does not always cause symptoms such as pain and restricted mobility. If such symptoms occur, therapy is necessary. Conservative measures and the use of an artificial joint are available. Here you read everything important about osteoarthritis.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in doctor's letters or on incapacity certificates. M19

Product Overview


  • Osteoarthrosis: General

  • Osteoarthritis: causes and development

  • Osteoarthritis: symptoms

  • Osteoarthritis: diagnosis

  • Osteoarthrosis: Therapy

Osteoarthrosis: General

In osteoarthritis wears the shoulder joint. This arthritis in the shoulder joint is less common than osteoarthritis in the hip or knee. This is because the shoulder only has to carry a small part of the body weight and thus less stress. Therefore, osteoarthritis in the shoulder is better tolerated than hip or knee osteoarthritis.

Shoulder pain in people over the age of 60 is caused by oesarthrosis in five to eleven percent of cases. But there are also many people with shoulder osteoarthritis who have no complaints.

ACG osteoarthritis

Osteoarthrosis or shoulder osteoarthritis is an arthrosis in the shoulder joint, ie the joint between the humeral head and scapula. Nearby is the acromioclavicular joint (ACG or AC joint), a joint between the collarbone and scapula. This can also develop an arthritis, the so-called ACG osteoarthritis (AC joint osteoarthritis, AC arthrosis, Schultereckgelenksarthrose). It mainly triggers pain during shoulder movements above the horizontal plane.

ACG osteoarthritis) is much more common than osteoarthrosis. Since AC joint injuries are up to ten times more frequent in men than in women, ACG osteoarthritis also occurs more frequently in men. Almost all men over 50 have an ACG osteoarthritis on the radiograph. In addition to injuries, illnesses can trigger ACG osteoarthritis. In some cases, the cause of the disease remains unclear. Diagnosis and treatment of ACG osteoarthritis correspond essentially to those of osteoarthrosis.

Osteoarthritis: causes and development

As with other forms of arthrosis, a distinction is made between a primary and a secondary form in osteoarthritis.

In the case of primary shoulder arthrosis, the cause is unclear. Presumably, several factors must come together to cause arthritis in the shoulder joint. Significant are hereditary and mechanical aspects. If the arm is raised to about shoulder height, the shoulder joint is stressed the most. Movements in this position could therefore more likely lead to an arthrosis shoulder. Additional weights in the hand increase the risk.

Secondary oesarthrosis occurs when shoulder arthrosis is the result of another disease. A disease or injury caused damaged shoulder joint can namely be less heavily burdened than a healthy. Thus, a secondary osteoarthrosis can arise even at lower load. The following diseases promote osteoarthritis:

  • Shoulder joint instability due to anatomical variants (glenohumeral instability)
  • Shoulder dislocation ("dislocated" shoulder)
  • Upper arm fracture in the shoulder area (proximal humeral fracture)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Joint inflammation by germs (septic arthritis)
  • dead tissue in the shoulder (necrosis)
  • Cartilage disease (chondromatosis)
  • Rotator cuff malfunction (functionally important muscle-tendon group at the shoulder)

Osteoarthritis: symptoms

Osteoarthritis in the shoulder can cause pain. These occur especially when the arm is raised. After strenuous physical exercise, a resting pain can prevent those affected from sleeping on the diseased shoulder. The mobility of the shoulder is limited in the case of osteoarthritis late.

Despite complaints, daily life can be mastered well with osteoarthritis in the shoulder in almost all cases.

Osteoarthritis: diagnosis

What measures are necessary in the diagnosis of osteoarthrosis and other types of arthritis, you can read in the article Osteoarthritis.

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    Joint wear - these are the signs

    In the course of life, the joints wear out: The cartilage substance, which allows the joints to work smoothly, fibrillates and breaks down. Some earlier, others later. Then someday appear complaints. This is how arthrosis becomes noticeable.

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    When stress hurts

    In the early stages of osteoarthritis, the joints only hurt when they are stressed.The pain initially appears especially in unusual efforts - the short spurt to catch the bus, or longer stairs can suddenly be painful.

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    Pain in everyday life

    Later, pains appear even during everyday stress. The complaints are initially annoying, but initially limit the daily activities hardly. Especially if the patients get up after a long time sitting or lying down, it can hurt. After a few steps, the pain disappears again. He then reappears only after longer loads again. In addition, the muscles feel tired.

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    Stiff & swollen

    The symptoms often affect not only the joint itself, but also the surrounding muscles. In some patients, the affected joints swell. In addition, osteoarthritis patients often find their diseased joints stiff.

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    Painful nights

    Only in late stages of the disease do pain become noticeable even at rest. Such a chronic pain torments the person concerned, especially at night. Sleep disorders are therefore common in advanced osteoarthritis.

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    Joints in malposition

    As arthrosis progresses, the joint structure changes: the affected joints can only be moved to a limited extent. Some stiffen in a malposition. Also, detached cartilage fragments may slip into the joint space and suddenly block the movement.

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    It crunches in the joint

    Heavily worn joints are also noticeable by noise. They appear when the joint can no longer be guided smoothly. One can then perceive fine or coarse-grained friction noise or cracking.

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    To keep moving!

    Despite possible pain, sparing with osteoarthritis is not a good idea - it actually speeds up the breakdown process. Only when moving the joints produce a lubricating substance, the so-called synovial fluid. It reduces friction in the joint and provides the cartilage with nutrients. Ideal are even movements in which the joint is hardly loaded, for example, swimming, cycling, Nordic walking and gymnastics.

Osteoarthrosis: Therapy

An osteoarthrosis can initially be treated conservatively, for example with medication, exercise therapy and heat. Read more in the article Osteoarthritis treatment.

If the conservative treatment does not adequately improve the symptoms of osteoarthrosis, surgery can be considered.

Osteoarthritis: surgery

The damaged articular cartilage can be removed by arthroscopic debridement. For this purpose, various instruments are placed in the shoulder in an operation. With a camera, the damaged areas can be visited and removed. This procedure may be useful in the early stages of the disease. In general, however, the osteoarthritis progresses further and causes later complaints again.

In severe osteoarthritis, it may be useful to replace the shoulder joint with an artificial joint. Due to the endoprosthesis, existing pain usually improves well. In addition, the shoulder becomes more mobile again. Depending on individual requirements received omarthrosisPatients a partial or full denture.

Read more about the investigations

  • arthroscopy
  • Arthrocentesis

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