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Shoulder Arthritis


Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative arthritis, is a gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is a tough, flexible connective tissue that protects the ends of bones in the joints. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder can severely impact a person’s lifestyle


Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder

Causes & Triggers

Osteoarthritis commonly develops as a result of the wear and tear of aging. It also frequently results from traumatic injury to the joint. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder is more common in older people, in women, and in people who have occupations that place increased stress on the shoulder. People who have certain diseases, bone deformities or a genetic predisposition are also at a higher risk.

  • Accident
  • Fracture
  • Natural wear-and-tear (loss of joint cartilage)
  • Repetitive stress
  • Sports injury

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the shoulder may include pain in the shoulder and arm. Movement may increase this pain. The shoulder may feel tender when pressure is applied. The person may experience a grating sensation when moving the arm. The shoulder may feel stiff, and this stiffness may interfere with the arm’s range of motion.

  • Grating
  • Hard lumps or bone spurs
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness

Tips & Treatment

Treatment options depend on the severity of the arthritis. In the early stages, the shoulder may be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy. If these methods are not helpful and if the shoulder continues to deteriorate, surgery may be needed to repair or replace the joint.

  • Arthritis happens to people of all ages; in fact, half are under the age of 50.
  • Non-surgical treatment may include, anti-inflammatory medications, bracing, physical therapy and/or corticosteroid or viscosupplementation injections.
  • Depending on severity and cause, surgical intervention may be necessary.
  • Seek the opinion of a well-qualified orthopedic specialist for relief of symptoms and treatment options.

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