Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The aging population in the United States is currently growing at an unprecedented rate. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in those over age 60. Osteoarthritis is most often diagnosed by a primary care provider, Doctor, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner. Diagnosis of osteoarthritis is most often based upon physical examination and radiograph images. Treatment of osteoarthritis in the aging population can prove to be challenging for the health care provider. Along with age come comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, renal disease and gastrointestinal disease just to name a few. The purpose ofthis paper is to explore various treatment modalities which may be used to treat osteoarthritis. Just as each patient is different, the plan of care must be tailored to meet their unique care needs.

A case report will be presented on a frail elderly male with severe shoulder pain. This patient has many long- standing comorbidities which makes treatment very challenging for the health care provider. Many factors must be taken into consideration when making treatment decisions.

Keywords: osteoarthritis, elderly, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, Viscosupplementation, narcotics, COX-2, shoulder, NSAIDs, elderly, renal function, gastrointestinal, treatment guidelines, surgery, hip, knee