OA in shoulder at 50

I have been diagnosed with OA in my shoulder, I'm 50 and my consultant told me it's easier to have this conversation with somebody in their early to mid 60s. Not sure what he means. I have a physical job and he recommended I begin to consider a more desk based job,As well as mentioning the quite possible chance of complete shoulder replacement. I have limited range but cope with the pain ok.

So... is it rare at 50, do I consider my employment options now or when I'm rely struggling, I have no qualifications or expertise in anything, other than manual labour, and how likely is it ill require shoulder replacement and how soon is that likely to be


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 930

    Hi @catan73 and welcome to the online forum,

    To hear your consultant say it would be easier to have a conversation with you about your shoulder osteoarthritis if you were in your 60s without giving you an explanation of what they meant does sound rather odd - perhaps you could ask them what they meant next time you see them?

    I would imagine they are suggesting that it’s quite young to get such a diagnosis, but the reality is that people of all ages live with arthritis, as many of our members can verify. It certainly can mean some life changes and I think you’re wise to start considering your employment options now, rather than if your situation changes. It’s not possible to say with any certainty how your condition will affect you though - everyone is different and sometimes with the right treatment, replacements aren’t necessary. Equally, surgery can make a big difference to your life if you need it.

    I’ve attached a link below that discusses employment options and support that should be available from your employer and from other sources. I hope you find it useful:

    Do let us know how you’re getting on,

    Anna ( Moderator)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • GarethJ
    GarethJ Member Posts: 8

    Hi @catan73 I was diagnosed in my 30's. Started with spondylitis in my spine. Now have oa in both shoulders, right elbow, wrists and fingers. I always had a physical job (mechanic) and switched to a desk job on the Dr's advice. I found it alot worse sitting all day. So only lasted a year in the office before leaving. I guess its different for everyone, and I'm now at a point where any kind of work is tough as I struggle to get out of bed. Not sure this helps you, but for me an office job was alot worse.