How Is Shoulder Arthritis Diagnosed And Treated?

Got shoulder pain? Is your shoulder stiff making it hard to move easily? It could very well be arthritis, and if you are over age 50 and were involved in an accident in the past, it probably is arthritis. Let’s learn more about shoulder arthritis and how it is diagnosed and treated.

Types Of Shoulder Arthritisdoctor examining patients' shoulder

The most common type of arthritis in the shoulder is osteoarthritis. It is also known as degenerative joint disease, and is caused by wear and tear to the joint. As the cartilage is worn away over time, the bones lose their ability to slide against each other without pain.

The second type is known as rheumatoid arthritis, which is a systemic autoimmune condition leading to the inflammation of the tissue around the joints. This inflammation can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone.

Persistent shoulder arthritis happens mainly after a serious shoulder injury or shoulder surgery.

Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Shoulder Arthritis

Pain when you move, a limited range of motion, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness are all symptoms of shoulder arthritis. Sometimes you can hear a grinding sound with movement.

All these signs may lead Dr. Camille Clinton to perform tests to diagnose your arthritis. An X-ray may be done to look for any decreased space between the bones like a narrowing of the joint space and if there are any bone spurs.

Your physician may order blood tests along with removing the lubricating fluid in the lining of the shoulder joint for analysis. In addition, there may be an MRI or CT scan ordered.

Treatments For Shoulder Arthritis

There are both non-surgical and surgical treatments available for shoulder arthritis.

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Range of motion exercises, which can help to keep your shoulder mobile
  • Lifestyle modifications to help avoid anything which causes pain like playing golf
  • Controlling pain through over-the-counter medications, prescriptions medications, ice treatments, and heat
  • Injections of cortisone or hyaluronic acid
  • Physical therapy
  • Joint supplements like glucosamine

Surgical Treatments

When other treatments fail to bring relief, surgery is an option.

  • Minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy
  • Shoulder replacement surgery, where the ball and socket is replaced with artificial parts
  • Reverse shoulder replacement surgery, which reverses the position of the ball and socket.

Request a Surgical Consultation Today!

It is important to discuss all the treatment options with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Camille Clinton to determine which is best for you. Contact Dr. Camille Clinton at (425) 899-4810 for a diagnosis to determine if your shoulder pain is arthritis and what treatments might be right for you.

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