33 Years Old with Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder. Do I Have any Options at this Age?

Hi Dr. Millett,

I have osteoarthritis of the shoulder. I am only 33 years old and the condition set in after a shoulder injury. I had surgery on it but am told I have little joint space. I am still in a lot of pain with less range of motion, zero degrees of external rotation and I can only raise my shoulder to chest level. I am a keen sportsman, and need something to help me that will also let me be active, with no restrictions. Is there any procedure that can give me my life back, and let me be active again?


Hi There,

You have a tough problem, but one that we have been focused on for many years. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder is a complex problem that involves damage to the cartilage, joint capsule and the bone. It is something I deal with on a daily basis in my practice. Many of my patients are young and active, like you, and desire a joint-preserving treatment that will allow them to stay active and put off the need for a joint replacement. We have recently developed a procedure called a CAM procedure (CAM is an acronym for Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management). This procedure has been validated over the last few years in a research study that is published in the journal Arthroscopy. The editors of the journal described this procedure as “amazingly innovative” and this has also been featured in Orthopaedics this week.

The CAM procedure is a minimally-invasive arthroscopic procedure that not only removes loose cartilage and restores mobility, but also decreases pain by decompressing the axillary nerve which can become entrapped by the bone spurs (osteophytes) that occur as part of the arthritic process. This procedure effectively helps to alleviate pain and restore function, while delaying the need for joint replacement surgery.

Recovery typically takes 3-4 months and results now show improvement for up to 5 years out. Ongoing research is underway to see just how long the effects last and how durable the procedure is. For more information please read all of my articles and studies.