Shoulder Arthritis

Asheesh Bedi, M.D.

Symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain. Pain usually worsens with activity.
  • Limited range of motion.
  • More frequent in older patients, weight lifters, or patients who had a previous injury or surgery.

Diagnosis:

  • X-rays: X-rays demonstrate loss of cartilage between the bones, bone spurs (osteophytes).
  • Ultrasound or MRI may be ordered to evaluate for a rotator cuff tear.

Treatment:

  • Non-operative treatment includes occasional corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Operative intervention includes shoulder replacement (hemiarthroplasty, total shoulder arthroplasty, reverse total shoulder arthroplasty).
  • In younger patients, a hemiarthroplasty is most often used.
  • Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty or hemiarthroplasty can performed when there is a large rotator cuff tear in addition to arthritis.

Post-operative Care:

  • Patients stay in the hospital for 1-3 days after surgery for pain control.
  • Sling for approximately 1 month after surgery.
  • Physical therapy is often needed for 1-3 months post-operatively to improve range of motion and function. Some patients improve motion and strength by completing exercises on their own.