What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, transpires when articular cartilage covering the peaks of bones begins to gradually deteriorate. This degeneration ignites severe pain, swelling, and occasionally the growth of bone spurs (or osteophytes) which end up rubbing the two bones together. This can happen throughout the body especially in the shoulder joint and associated joints surrounding the shoulder.  Osteoarthritis most frequently occurs in the acromioclavicular (AC) joint.

Shoulder Osteoarthritis Symptoms

In the majority of osteoarthritis cases, pain is the most predominant symptom. An individual with shoulder arthritis frequently endures pain during and after the movement of their shoulder. This jarring pain can also occur while the individual is asleep. Furthermore, patients with shoulder arthritis often face a limited ability to move their joints. This can occur when patients are attempting to simply move their arm. Attempted movement can also cause a creaking or clicking noise that echoes from the shoulder joints.

Shoulder Osteoarthritis Diagnosis

In order to properly diagnose osteoarthritis of the shoulder, Dr. Chams will look at your medical history, as well as conduct a full physical exam to effectively evaluate loss of motion, extent of pain, tenderness, and any other concerning signs near the joint tissues. Following the evaluation, our expert staff will determine if your muscles near the joint display serious signs of weakness or atrophy from absence of use. Physical tests such as x-rays, MRI scans, maybe ordered to further diagnosis.

Shoulder Osteoarthritis Treatment

Depending on the severity of the osteoarthritis diagnosis, the joint disease will be treated in various ways. Moderate cases of shoulder osteoarthritis are usually treated with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen or naproxen.  Cortisone injections are also discussed as treatment and is partnered with physical therapy to maximize results. Treatment can also include applying ice or heat to the shoulder, executing range-of-motion and below the shoulder strengthening exercises, and refraining from painful extremes of movement. It is important to note that the majority of osteoarthritis treatment does not require surgery. However, in more severe cases of degenerative joint disease, the variety of treatment options can range from hemiarthroplasty to reverse shoulder replacements. Our experienced medical staff will inform you of the best possible treatment for your unique case and will walk you through the important ste