Shoulder Arthritis

What is shoulder arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis diagnosed in most of the people. In fact, shoulder arthritis or arthritis of the arthritis can be any form of arthritis that affect the shoulder joint. Even though, many treatments are available for shoulder arthritis, there is no complete cure for the condition. The treatments aim at relieving the pain and maximize the functioning of the joint. Types of arthritis that may affect the shoulder joint include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rotator cuffs tear arthroplasty
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Post traumatic arthritis

What are the symptoms of shoulder arthritis?

The two major symptoms of shoulder arthritis include:

Pain: Pain is the most common symptom of shoulder arthritis. The patient will experience a shoulder pain which will get intense while engaging in physical activities. The pain will get worse as the condition gets severe.
Limited range of motion: It is another common symptom experienced by a shoulder arthritis patient. When the condition gets severe, the patient will find it much difficult to lift up the arm. There can be a snapping, grinding or clicking sound while moving the shoulder.

With the progress of the condition, the patient will feel pain while making any simple movement of the shoulder. Even the sleep may get disturbed due to night pain.

Shoulder Arthritis

How is shoulder arthritis diagnosed?

The doctor will first evaluate the medical history of the patient. He/she will also have a thorough physical examination and check for the symptoms. If the doctor suspects for shoulder arthritis, he/she will then suggest for an x-ray. X-ray will be helpful to see whether there is a change in the bone, signs of bone spur formation or a narrowing of the joint space. Finally to confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may inject a local anesthetic into the shoulder joint. If it relieves pain temporarily, diagnosis can be confirmed.

What are the treatment options for shoulder arthritis?

Nonsurgical treatment: As any other condition, the doctor will first try certain nonsurgical options to see whether it yield results or not. Some of the common nonsurgical options for shoulder arthritis include:

  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • NSAIDS medications
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Moist heat
  • Ice
  • Disease-modifying drugs
  • Dietary supplements to relieve the pain

Surgical treatments: Even though, the treatments are not meant to cure arthritis, the doctor will check whether they can relieve pain and manage discomforts. If nonsurgical treatments fail to yield success, surgeon will suggest surgeries suchh as:

Arthroscopy: Cleans the inside of the joint and relieves pain
Replacement surgical options:
Total shoulder arthroplasty
Reverse total Shoulder Arthroplasty
Resection arthroplasty

What about the risks, complications and recovery?

Possible complications and risks of these surgeries are common with any other major surgical procedures. Some of them include infection, bleeding, blood clots, blood vessel damage and nerve damage. The surgery relieves pain and helps in restoring the normal functioning of the joint to an extent. Recovery and results may depend upon the type of surgery chosen.

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