Arthritis of the Shoulder

Posted September 27th, 2017

More than 50 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with
some form of arthritis, according to the National Health Interview Survey.
The number of people estimated to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by
2040 is more than 78 million. Arthritis is the number one cause of disability.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Arthritis is
inflammation of one or more joints such as the shoulder, which causes pain
and stiffness.

There are two joints in the shoulder, and both may be affected by arthritis.
The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is where the collar bone, clavicle, meets
the tip of the shoulder blade, acromion. The glenohumeral joint is where
the head of the upper arm bone, humerus, fits into the glenoid cavity of the
shoulder blade, scapula.

To provide effective treatment, the DOC orthopedic specialists need to
determine which joint is affected and the type of arthritis. Five major types
of arthritis typically affect the shoulder.

Osteoarthritis “wear-and-tear” arthritis, destroys the smooth outer
covering, articular cartilage, of bone. Without the cartilage cushion, the
bones of the joint rub against each other, causing pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, autoimmune disease that
attacks multiple joints throughout the body. It is symmetrical and usually
affects the same joint on both sides of the body. With RA, the immune
system attacks its own tissues, cartilage, and ligaments and softens bone.

Posttraumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis that develops after an
injury, such as a fracture or dislocation of the shoulder.
Rotator cuff tear arthropathy is arthritis that can develop after a large,
long-standing rotator cuff tendon tear. The torn rotator cuff cannot hold
the head of the arm bone, humerus, in the glenoid socket. The combination of a large rotator cuff tear and advanced arthritis can lead to severe pain, weakness and limited mobility.

Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the shoulder is a painful condition that occurs
when the blood supply to the head of the humerus is disrupted. Bones
must have a blood supply to survive. AVN can lead to destruction of the
shoulder joint and arthritis.

Although there is no cure for arthritis of the shoulder, there are many
treatment options available. After discussing symptoms and medical
history, the DOC orthopedic specialist will examine the shoulder, checking
for weakness, tenderness, range of motion, injuries, crepitus, and pain. X-
ray imaging is available at every DOC location to provide detailed images of
dense structures, like bone, and to help determine the type of arthritis.

As with other arthritic conditions, initial treatment of arthritis of the
shoulder is nonsurgical: rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory
medications, and corticosteroid injections. If pain persists, the condition
causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical options, shoulder
surgery may be warranted, partial, total or reverse total arthroplasty. One
or both the head of the humerus and the glenoid are replaced with a metal
ball and a plastic cup. If suffering with shoulder arthritis, discuss all
treatment options with DOC’s orthopedic surgeon.

Source:
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00222
http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding- arthritis/arthritis-statistics-
facts.php

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