Shoulder Arthritis

What Is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder Arthritis: Understanding and Treating the Pain

Shoulder arthritis is a debilitating condition that can significantly impact your quality of life. At City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we specialize in diagnosing and treating all forms of shoulder arthritis to help you regain mobility and find relief from pain.

Types of Shoulder Arthritis

There are three primary types of shoulder arthritis:

  1. Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder: This is the most common form and typically results from the natural aging process.
  2. Post-Traumatic Arthritis of the Shoulder: Occurs following past shoulder injuries or trauma.
  3. Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Shoulder: A rare condition associated with immune system dysfunction that erodes shoulder cartilage.

Causes of Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder arthritis develops when the protective cartilage surrounding the joint wears down. Several factors contribute to this cartilage degradation:

  • Age-Related Wear and Tear: As you age, normal wear and tear on your joints can lead to arthritis.
  • Traumatic Injuries: Past shoulder injuries may contribute to the development of arthritis.
  • Excessive Joint Stress: Overusing the shoulder, particularly in sports, can accelerate cartilage breakdown.
  • Improper Shoulder Joint Development: Abnormal shoulder joint development can increase the risk.
  • Genetic Factors: Genetic defects in shoulder cartilage may play a role.

Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s essential to consult our orthopedic experts for an evaluation:

  • Shoulder Pain: Persistent and often debilitating pain in the shoulder joint.
  • Shoulder Swelling: Swelling around the affected shoulder.
  • Shoulder Immobility: Difficulty moving the shoulder normally.
  • Limited Activity: Inability to engage in activities involving shoulder use.
  • Pain When Raising Your Arm: Especially when reaching upward.
  • Audible Clicking Noises: Clicking or popping sensations in the shoulder, particularly when raising your arm.

Diagnosing Shoulder Arthritis

Our experienced orthopedic physicians rely on a personalized approach to diagnose shoulder conditions, including arthritis. We take the time to understand your medical history and thoroughly evaluate your symptoms before making a diagnosis. While a physical examination and discussion of your symptoms often yield accurate results, we may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to assess the extent of arthritis damage.

Treating Shoulder Arthritis

At City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we prioritize conservative treatment options whenever possible. Our goal is to alleviate your pain and improve your shoulder function. Conservative treatments may include:

  • Rest: Allowing the affected shoulder time to heal.
  • Heat or Ice Therapy: To manage pain and inflammation.
  • Medications: Pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Physical Therapy: Customized exercises to strengthen the shoulder and improve range of motion.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Adjustments to daily activities to reduce shoulder strain.
  • Steroid Injections: Targeted injections to alleviate pain and inflammation.

When conservative treatments are insufficient, our skilled orthopedic surgeons offer advanced surgical options to restore your shoulder joint’s function. These surgical interventions may involve procedures such as shoulder arthroscopy, shoulder replacement surgery, rotator cuff repair, or reverse shoulder replacement surgery.

Don’t let shoulder arthritis limit your mobility and cause you unnecessary pain. Contact City Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine today to explore personalized treatment options tailored to your needs. We are committed to helping you regain a pain-free, active lifestyle.


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