Shoulder arthritis

Shoulder arthritis

Shoulder arthritis is less common than hip or knee arthritis causing a cartilage to wear and tear. Due to the reduction or worn out cartilage, the friction between anatomic structures increases and causes pain.

Symptoms shoulder arthritis

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis are quite similar to those of the impingement syndrome / painful arc syndrome. Here it comes to pain associated with shoulder movements. Pain can emerge during overhead work, lifting or internal or external rotation of the arms. In case of progressive arthritis, pain may also be present while resting. Shoulder arthritis does also impair the range of motion of shoulder and arm. Often afflicted people hear grinding sounds when the shoulder is involved in movements.

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis in short:

  • pain while moving arms and shoulders
  • restricted range of motion
  • grinding sounds
  • pain at rest

Causes shoulder arthritis

Shoulder arthritis is often caused by wear and tear over the years. It can emerge in the old age or even much earlier as a result of intensive shoulder-related work. It is also possible that shoulder arthritis develops due to other shoulder injuries like bone fractures (glenohumeral fracture) or defects of the rotator cuff. Because cartilage is worn out, the bony structures of the shoulder grind and cause, besides grinding sounds, pain and restricted range of motion.

Diagnostics shoulder arthritis

The diagnosis shoulder arthritis necessitates a comprehensive orthopedic examination. Often imaging procedures like MRI or X-raying are used to differentiate different diseases that may cause similar or the same symptoms like the impingement syndrome. The best method to differentiate between different injuries is MRI. MRI enables us to visualize very different structures during one examination like muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bones. If it is necessary, we do also apply a well-tolerated contrast agent to improve the visibility of certain structures.
In some cases, it may be necessary to perform a shoulder arthroscopy, during which an endoscope is inserted through small incisions to visualize the different structures of the shoulder enlarged. If indicated, a subsequent arthroscopic surgery is possible directly after the arthroscopic examination.

Therapy shoulder arthritis

If arthritis is not sufficiently treated conservatively by painkilling drugs reducing the swelling, physiotherapy or local corticoid injections, an artificial joint replacement surgery is necessary. To damage functioning parts of the shoulder as less as possible, Beta Klinik uses a gentle, bone-saving procedure. After surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation should follow in order to improve strength and range of motion.