Millions of Americans are suffering from arthritis, a chronic condition that causes joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. If these are symptoms you’ve been experiencing in your shoulder then you could be dealing with arthritis. Even though there is no cure for arthritis there are many treatment options available when you turn to our orthopaedic shoulder specialist, Dr. Roger Pollock, for care.
If you have arthritis in the shoulder this can affect everything from the tendons and muscles to the joints and ligaments. Not only does it can pain and swelling, but also this condition can reduce flexibility and range of motion. There are different kinds of arthritis that can develop within the shoulder but the most common type is osteoarthritis (also referred to as degenerative joint disease).
In patients with osteoarthritis, we will be able to see excessive wear on the cartilage that covers the bones of the shoulder. While some wear and tear is normal over time, those with arthritis will have worn down a significant portion of the cartilage, which affects how the joints move and can even cause bone spurs to develop. Bone spurs, inflammation, and reduced mobility can lead to stiffness and pain in the shoulder, particularly when performing certain movements or functions.
Shoulder arthritis most often occurs in individuals over the age of 50; however, it is possible for younger individuals to develop arthritis after a shoulder injury or infection. If you are experiencing shoulder pain that gets worse during activity then it’s a good time to turn to our orthopaedic shoulder specialist to find out what’s going on. While there are many reasons for shoulder pain, arthritis is one of the most common causes.
When you come in for your evaluation, our shoulder specialist will have to examine the shoulder. In many cases, an X-ray or other diagnostic imaging tests will need to be conducted in order to detect cartilage wear, bone spurs, or other musculoskeletal problems.
While there is no cure for arthritis, symptoms can be managed with different treatment options. Giving your shoulder ample rest is important, as is altering certain activities to ensure that physical activities and exercise don’t exacerbate your arthritis. Our orthopaedic specialist can also prescribe a series of exercises that you can perform every day to help strengthen and stretch the joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles within the shoulder. Medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, can also provide temporary relief, as can icing or moist heat.
Only when these measures do not work to alleviate pain will we discuss whether surgery is the best option. There are several types of surgeries available to address shoulder arthritis, depending on the issues you are facing. An arthroscopy of the shoulder can help remove loose bone and cartilage in the joints. In the case of severe damage, joint replacement in the shoulder may be necessary.
Interested in Shoulder Arthritis services from Roger G. Pollock, MD?
Call our Bergen County, NJ office at (201) 612-9774 today!