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Degenerative Shoulder Disease: Diagnosis

Degenerative joint disease of the shoulder is a gradual wearing of the articular cartilage that leads to pain and stiffness.  As the joint surface degenerates, the subchondral bone remodels, losing its sphericity and congruity.  The joint capsule also becomes thickened, leading to further loss of shoulder rotation.  This painful condition is a growing problem in the aging population.  In most cases, diagnosis and degenerative joint disease of the shoulder can be made with careful history, physical examination, and radiography.  The symptoms and degree of shoulder arthritis visible on radiography determine the best treatment option.