Shoulder Arthritis – Causes and Treatments

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the shoulder joint. In osteoarthritis of the shoulder, the cushioning cartilage that protects the ends of the bones gets worn out, leaving the bone ends to grind against each other. This can cause painful movement and the development of bone spurs.

The main shoulder joint is called the glenohumeral (G-H) joint, where the arm bone meets the shoulder blade. The other is a smaller joint, the acromioclavicular (A-C) joint, which connects the collarbone and the scapula.

Causes

Shoulder arthritis is often seen in people over 50 years of age. But younger people can also get it due to injury or trauma to the shoulder.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptom of people with shoulder arthritis is pain. The pain worsens with activities and decreases with rest. Arthritis of the G-H joint causes pain in the back of the shoulder while A-C arthritis hurts mostly in the front at the end of the collar bone.

The other common symptom is restricted or loss of motion. The motion of the shoulder can also feel like grinding as the bones rub against one another.

Shoulder Arthritis Treatments

Rest, activity modification and physical therapy are initially advised. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are also prescribed. Minimally invasive treatments like steroid injections can also provide pain relief.|

If these treatments do not prove effective, shoulder surgery may be recommended. For A-C joint arthritis, surgery involves removal of the end of the collar bone. The surgery can be performed with open surgery or minimally invasive arthroscopy. For G-H joint arthritis, surgery replaces the damaged surfaces of the bone with metal and plastic.  Sometimes only a part of the joint requires replacement, also known as hemiarthroplasty.

If you are looking for an experienced shoulder surgeon in Phoenix, call FXRX Inc. at 480-449-3979. As an orthopedic knee and shoulder surgeon in Phoenix specializing in sports medicine procedures such as rotator cuff repair, Dr. Sumit Dewanjee has performed hundreds of successful shoulder arthroscopies and other shoulder arthritis treatments in Phoenix.

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