Degenerative shoulder also known as shoulder osteoarthritis, is a gradual, progressive, mechanical, and biochemical breakdown of the articular cartilage and other joint tissues, including bone and joint capsule.
Shoulder is like golf tee due to its shape, it is inherently unstable. The joint is maintained by forces in surrounding structures, mainly the four rotator cuff muscles and their tendons; and also by tough fibrous tissues called as labrum. They usually get degenerated over time and may get damaged or there may be a damage after injury.
Patient will typically complaint of inability to raise the arm. There will be difficulty in doing overhead activities like lifting structure high up to doing activities like combing hair. Patients neglect the problems due to tolerable or sometime no pain at all in isolated cuff injury. Associated pain may be present due to damage in biceps tendon, may be tendinitis (irritation) to severe damage and tears. In cuff tear, pain usually starts late and is a sign of arthropathy (severe damage due to faulty dynamics).
This condition can be treated by arthroscopy techniques; where damaged tissue is brought to it normal location and fixed by implants called as suture anchors.