Shoulder Joint Disease

Shoulder joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis of the shoulder, is most common in people over the age of 50, but can occur after an injury to the shoulder in people of all ages. Shoulder osteoarthritis can negatively affect your everyday life. Continue reading to learn more about this condition, including treatment methods and if you should consult a shoulder surgeon. Shoulder Surgeon

Definition of Shoulder Joint Disease

Your shoulder is made up of two joints, the acromioclavicular joint (AC) and the glenohumeral joint. Shoulder osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that covers the tops of your bones begins to wear down. The AC joint is the one in which joint disease of the shoulder is most commonly found. Left untreated, osteoarthritis can lead to osteophytes, or bone spurs.

Symptoms of Shoulder Joint Disease

When you suffer from joint disease of the shoulder, you likely experience pain during or after shoulder movement. In addition to pain, you may experience the following:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Clicking or creaking noise with movement
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your shoulder, it’s time to see an orthopaedic specialist to diagnose and treat the issue.

Treatment for Shoulder Joint Disease

When you present to your physician with the symptoms mentioned above, he or she will perform a number of tests to precisely diagnose your condition. These tests include:

  • X-rays
  • Blood work
  • MRI scans

If the tests confirm your shoulder joint disease, you will begin treatment with one or more of the following nonsurgical options:

  • Rest
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Range of motion exercises
  • Heat
  • Ice

When none of those treatments work, you will need to see a shoulder surgeon to discuss further options. Just like with other surgery, shoulder surgery carries risks. Your shoulder surgeon will evaluate your specific condition and health to determine which type of surgery is best for you. Surgery options include:

  • Shoulder joint replacement (total shoulder arthroplasty)
  • Replacement of the upper arm bone (hemiarthroplasty)
  • Removal of a portion of the end of the collarbone (resection arthroplasty)

To learn more about your treatment options, talk to a shoulder surgeon at Specialty Orthopaedic Surgery today.

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