People younger than 50 with chronic shoulder pain can benefit from replacement surgery.

Chronic shoulder pain isn’t limited to “old” people; men and women under age 50 can suffer arthritic changes that cause ongoing problems in this joint.

A Mayo Clinic study shows that middle-aged or younger adults can experience pain relief and also improved mobility from a procedure called arthroplasty: shoulder joint replacement.

Arthritic degeneration can occur in people under 50. The Mayo Clinic study was small, but yielded significant results. All of the study subjects were age 50 or younger, and had chronic shoulder pain that was caused by arthritis.


-Long-term relief of pain was significant.

-There was improvement in key movements such as raising the hands over the head.

-Five of the 23 patients required revision surgery due to arthritic changes and/or an infection.

“For the young patient with shoulder arthritis,” says John Sperling, MD, the lead orthopedic surgeon on the Mayo team, “clinical outcomes are favorable for total shoulder arthroplasty and partial arthroplasty in terms of pain reduction and improved motion.” However, revision rates are high.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.