Osteoarthritis of Shoulder
Osteoarthritis of the shoulder can be a very painful condition. It occurs when the cartilage that covers the ball and socket of the shoulder joint becomes worn or torn. It may be caused by a previous injury or wear and tear of the shoulder over time, and is most common in people age 50 and older.
Individuals with osteoarthritis of the shoulder typically experience these symptoms:
Deep, aching pain in the shoulder, arm, upper back and neck
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty raising the affected arm
- Difficulty with overhead activities
- Shoulder weakness or stiffness
- Pain at rest and difficulty sleeping
To determine if you have osteoarthritis, a shoulder specialist at Lancaster Orthopedic Group may order an X-ray to evaluate the extent of cartilage loss and possibly an MRI to evaluate the condition of the rotator cuff. If he or she suspects possible bone loss, a CT scan may be recommended to obtain a clearer picture of the shoulder area.
When the shoulder osteoarthritis is mild, initial treatment usually consists of anti-inflammatory medications, application of heat and/or ice, and sometimes cortisone injections to relieve the pain and inflammation in the joint.
If the osteoarthritis is advanced, and the pain limits your daily activities or ability to sleep, shoulder replacement surgery (called total shoulder arthroplasty) may be appropriate. The surgery, which involves replacing the shoulder joint with a new artificial joint, can be very effective for reducing pain and improving quality of life.