The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Damage of the cartilage in the shoulder joint causes shoulder arthritis. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling, heat, and pain.
Osteoarthritis is also called a degenerative joint disease; this is the most common type of arthritis, which occurs often in the elderly. This disease affects the cartilage, the tissue that cushions and protects the ends of bones in a joint.
With osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to wear away over time. In extreme cases, the cartilage can completely wear away, leaving nothing to protect the bones in a joint, causing bone-on-bone contact. Bones may also bulge or stick out at the end of a joint and are called bone spurs.
Osteoarthritis causes joint pain and can limit your normal range of motion (the ability to freely move and bend a joint). When severe, the shoulder joint may lose all movement, making your disabled.
Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing out of the cartilage covering the bone ends in a joint. This may be due to excessive strain over prolonged periods of time, or due to other joint diseases, injury or deformity. Primary osteoarthritis is commonly associated with aging and general degeneration of the joints.
Secondary osteoarthritis is generally the consequence of another disease or condition, such as repeated trauma or surgery to the affected joint, or abnormal joint structures from birth.
There are several forms of arthritis and the symptoms vary according to the form of arthritis. Each form affects the body differently. Arthritic symptoms generally include swelling and pain or tenderness in the joints for more than two weeks, redness or heat in a joint, limitation of motion of a joint and early morning stiffness.
In an arthritic shoulder:
Your doctor will diagnose arthritis with a medical history, a physical exam and X-rays of the affected part. Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are also ordered to diagnose arthritis.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine and may recommend occupational therapy or physiotherapy, which includes exercises and heat treatment. In severe cases, surgery may be suggested. The type of surgery depends on the age and severity of the condition. In the elderly with severe arthritis, joint replacement is a good option. A common surgery for the treatment of shoulder arthritis is arthroplasty (replacement of the damaged joint), which may be total shoulder arthroplasty or hemiarthroplasty.
Conditions Related To Shoulder are :