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Shoulder Arthritis

Expert Shoulder Surgeons in Orange County, CA

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is the main cause for total shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder arthritis is the wear and tear of cartilage in the shoulder joint that happens as we age or sometimes it can occur after a severe shoulder injury or trauma. Bone spurs begin to form and the joint capsule gets inflamed - all of which results in a loss of joint space which decreases range of motion, stiffness and pain to the shoulder joint.

Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis:

  • Deep shoulder pain or ache that worsens with activity.
  • Shoulder pain can radiate around the entire shoulder.
  • Pain can worsen with colder weather.
  • Shoulder stiffness, grinding, clicking or snapping.
  • The pain can worsen at night, especially if you sleep on your side.

Causes of Shoulder Arthritis

There are several types of shoulder arthritis, below is a description of each kind.

  • Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder is a wear-and-tear type of arthritis that typically affects people as they age or in individuals with a family history of arthritis. Shoulder osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the bones of the shoulder joint wear down over time. The bones then rub against each other, causing the shoulder joint to stiffen and become painful.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory arthritis disorder which is caused by the immune system attacking healthy tissue, such as the lining of the shoulder joint called the synovial membrane. This membrane becomes thickened and inflamed, producing too much synovial fluid, which overfills the joint space. This results in chronic inflammation that can damage the cartilage and eventually lead to bone erosion, joint deformity, pain and stiffness.
  • Traumatic Arthritis can follow a serious shoulder injury. A prior fracture or severe trauma to ligaments may damage the articular cartilage over time, causing shoulder pain and limiting shoulder function.

Treatment Options for Shoulder Arthritis

Our goal at Newport Orthopedic Institute is to restore motion and reduce pain so you can get back to your regular activities. Your shoulder surgeon will develop a custom treatment plan to help achieve this goal, ideally without involving surgery.

Non-surgical Treatments:

  • Lifestyle modifications (avoiding activities that aggravate the condition, such as over-head motions)
  • Physical therapy (isometric exercises – rotator cuff strengthening and scapular strengthening & stretching)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs – ibuprofen or naproxen)
  • Injections
    • Image-guided steroid injections
    • Corticosteroids or cortisone shots
    • Biologic treatments
      • Hydraulic Acid / Viscosupplementation Injection (Not FDA-Approved or covered by health insurance plans)
      • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

*Check with your doctor to determine what approved options are recommended and available.

Surgical Treatments:

Your shoulder surgeon at Newport Orthopedic Institute will recommend shoulder surgery if conservative treatment options have been exhausted and you still have persistent shoulder pain and are unable to perform daily activities.

  • Arthroscopic shoulder surgery has limited benefit to patients. It can reduce pain in the mid-range of motion; however, it does not improve pain levels for end-range flexion, extension or rotation movements.
  • Total shoulder replacement / shoulder arthroplasty is the removal of the arthritic shoulder joint and replacement of the joint with metal and plastic implants. This procedure restores function, motion and reduces shoulder pain.
  • Reverse shoulder replacement is used when the rotator cuff is in poor condition or absent due to a prior trauma or deformity. It may also be used in severe shoulder arthritis cases where there is a substantial loss of bone on the glenoid (the cup).

Schedule a consultation with a Newport Orthopedic Institute orthopedic shoulder surgeon in Orange County to treat your shoulder arthritis. Call (949) 722-7038.

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  • Shoulder Scope With Reconstruction "Dr. Petrie is thoughtful and thorough. I appreciate being cared for both as a patient and as a person. Thank you for being you!" Provider: Russell S Petrie MD
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