Shoulder Arthritis


Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is the most common form of arthritis and causes apin, decreased motion and swelling in your shoulder. Osteoarthritis is often a result of natural “wear and tear” from using the shoulder, and its prevalence increases with age. recurrent injuries, such as fractured or dislocated shoulders, can also increase the risk for osteoarthritis amongst younger patients. Osteoarthritis occurs when the articular cartilage, which covers the ball (humeral head) and socket (glenoid) of the shoulder joint, degenerates and wears down. this smooth cartilage is vital for protecting the bones by reducing friction and allowing for smooth movement in the joints. When this articular cartilage is worn down and damaged, painful bone on bone contact occurs, which can lead to the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes) that cause further pain.

The two most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain during shoulder movement and limited range of motion in the shoulder. In patients with end-stage osteoarthritis, motion is severely limited and pain interferes with even basic everyday activities, siuch as combing hair, putting on clothes, and reaching for objects. Physical examinations as well as x-rays and MRI scans are used to diagnose osteoarthritis.

Over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can be used to reduce inflammation and pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Stretching exercises can also be used to maintain motion. Steroid injections are another option if symptoms persist. However, if symptoms progress and non-surgical treatment is ineffective, total shoulder replacement (total shoulder arthroplasty) may be considered to restore the smooth surface of the shoulder joint. During shoulder replacement, the diseased ball of the upper arm bone and socket of the shoulder blade are replaced with artificial implants to reduce pain and allow for improved range of motion. Dr. Dines is one of the leaders in total shoulder replacement, having designed one of the most popular shoulder replacement systems used today. He has performed more total shoulder arthroplasties than anyone in New York.

» Click here to read more about shoulder replacement surgery.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition where the joint lining (synovium), which lubricates the shoulder, swells. The swelling causes shoulder pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis in their shoulders will therefore oftentimes have symptoms in both shoulders (bilaterally).

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may have symptoms that include pain, loss of motion, swelling and warmth in the affected shoulder. Patients may also feel weakness in the shoulder joint. Physical examination as well as blood and other laboratory tests can be used to diagnose rheumatoid arthrits. X-rays and MRI scans can be used to help diagnose this disease.

As in patients with osteoarthritis, over-the-counter drugs may be used to reduce inflammation and in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Physical therapy and stretching exercises can be used to maintain motion and steroid injections are another option if symptoms persist. However, if symptoms progress and non-surgical treatment is ineffective, total shoulder replacement (total shoulder arhtroplasty) may also be considered. Particularly, reverse total shoulder replacement may be recommended depending on the condition of the soft tissue muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.

» Click here to read more about shoulder replacement surgery.
» Click here to read more about reverse total shoulder replacement.

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