My Wife Has a Cartilage Damage In Her Right Shoulder. Is There Any Treatment Besides Surgery In Order To Repair The Damage?

For the proper movement of the shoulder, healthy cartilage is very essential. Damage to the cartilage can result in pain and an impairment of shoulder movement. There are two types of shoulder cartilage, fibrocartilage and hyaline cartilage. Fibrocartilage covers the rim of the shoulder socket. The rim is referred to as the labrum and it enhances the stability of the joint by deepening the shoulder socket. Damage to the labrum such as tears may result in persistent shoulder pain, joint instability and a clicking that occurs during shoulder movements. The hyaline cartilage serves as a cushion during joint movements as it lines the articulating areas of the shoulder joint. Damage to this cartilage can result in pain and may even lead to arthritis.

The joint of the shoulder consists of the bone of the upper arm, called the humerus; the shoulder blade, called the scapula; and the end portion of the collarbone, called the clavicle. The shoulder joint is highly mobile and in fact it is considered to be the most mobile joint in the human body. The socket is quite shallow and this allows varied movements of the joint. This shallow shoulder socket does provide significant freedom of mobility, but is also increases vulnerability to damage caused by dislocation or instability. There are two types of labrum tears. The SLAP tear refers to damage that occurs on the superior area of the cartilage and travels from the anterior to the posterior of the shoulder. Such damage usually results due to repeated overhead movements or injury to an overhead or outstretched arm. A bankhart lesion refers to a tear in the anterior of the glenoid labrum and generally occurs due to shoulder dislocation. The hyaline cartilage may suffer damage due to wear and tear that takes place over time. If there is thinning of the cartilage, bare spots may develop, resulting in bone on bone movements which can be very painful. Cartilage damage may also result from trauma such as fracture of the joint which can contribute to early onset of arthritis.

It is important to have the damaged shoulder medically examined. Consult your doctor regarding other modes of treatment, apart from surgery. For the pain and discomfort, warm compresses may prove beneficial. Alternating warm and cold compresses is also known to help in easing pain. Sleeping with a pillow under the shoulder so as to elevate it above heart-level is also effective in promoting healing.

answered by M W

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