Shoulder Arthritis Treatment in Kirkland, WA

The shoulder is one of the areas of the body most prone to natural wear and tear. Your humerus (upper arm,) scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collarbone,) are all connected by a network of tendons and ligament, and since the shoulder’s range of motion is almost 360 degree rotation, everything must work together flawlessly in order to maintain proper function.

Arthritis is defined as inflammation of one or more joints. Since the shoulder has several joints that work together, any inflammation can cause pain, stiffness and may limit range of motion. According to the CDC, around 53 million people in the United States suffer from arthritis, and many of those people suffer from shoulder inflammation.

Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis Pain

The most common complaint from patients with shoulder arthritis is pain. Pain tends to get worse throughout the day as the shoulder is involved in activity and could get worse over time. In some cases, pain is elevated during the night time when trying to sleep.

Limited Range of Motion

If inflammation is severe enough, the pain can cause stiffness and limit the range of motion of the shoulder. Patients may notice grinding or clicking as the shoulder moves and their arms are extended outward or upward.

Types of Arthritis

There are several types of arthritis that can affect the shoulder. Each one has different causes and can present patients with a unique set of challenges.

Osteoarthritis

This form of arthritis is caused by every day wear and tear of the joints, and according to the Mayo Clinic, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. It is most typically diagnosed in patients who are over the age of 50. The most common symptoms felt are pain, tenderness and stiffness.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered a serious issue because it is caused by the immune system attacking the body’s own cells. When the immune system destroys cells, it can cause long-term damage to the tissue. In addition to joint pain and swelling, Rheumatoid arthritis can cause disability and loss of function in the affected area.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis

This type of arthritis is seen in patients who have suffered an injury in their past such as a dislocated shoulder, or a shoulder fracture from a fall. In conjunction with joint pain and swelling, post-traumatic arthritis can also cause fluid buildup around the joints.

Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy

If a patient’s rotator cuff has suffered a tear, then the tendon is no longer able to effectively hold the arm in the socket. The bones can rub together and cause damage which may lead to the development of arthritis. The combination of the rotator cuff tear and arthritis can lead to the patient being unable to lift their arm as well as they used to.

Avascular Necrosis

Sometimes, the blood supply to the humerus can become disrupted and cause parts of the bone to die. If this happens, this problem can lead to the deterioration of the shoulder joint and cause arthritis. Avascular necrosis can be caused by heavy alcohol consumption, steroid abuse, traumatic injury or sickle cell disease.

Schedule an Appointment in Kirkland, WA

Dr. Camille Clinton is a fellowship-trained board-certified orthopedic surgeon that specializes in treating conditions that affect the shoulder. (425) 899-4810 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clinton today!

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