Arthritis damages your joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Arthritis damages your muscles and tendons as well as your joints and ligaments, causing joint pain and a limited range of motion.
Types of Shoulder Arthritis
There are 5 types of arthritis that affect the shoulder:
As we age, the smooth surfaces of the cartilage that line the bones of the shoulder joint begin to wear out and become larger, causing osteoarthritis – mainly caused by overuse. This is most common in people over the age of 50.
- Joint pain
This is an autoimmune disease causing one or more joints to become inflamed, and may affect both shoulders at the same time. Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause your shoulder bones to erode and become deformed over time.
- Tenderness and warmth in the joints
- Shoulder stiffness, especially in the morning
- Fatigue, weight loss or fever
When blood cannot reach the long bone in your upper arm (humerus), the cells in your shoulder bone begin to die and subsequently destroys the joint tissue in the shoulder. This is a progressive disease and gradually worsens over time. Avascular necrosis can happen due to shoulder dislocations, fractures or high doses of steroids or alcohol abuse.
Shoulder injuries such as fractures and shoulder dislocations may eventually lead to post-traumatic arthritis, which causes fluid to build up in the shoulder joint, resulting in pain and swelling.
Generally, a rip in the tendons of the rotator cuff causes this form of arthritis to develop.
- Intense pain
- Muscle weakness that can make lifting difficult
Arthritic Shoulder Treatments
Depending on the type of arthritis you have, Dr James McLean may recommend:
- Lifestyle management such as rest, physical therapy or range of motion exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Cortisone injections
- Surgery (only if all other treatment fails), which may include joint replacement surgery, arthroscopy or resection arthroplasty.
When should I book an appointment with Dr McLean?
We recommend booking an appointment if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Severe pain in the shoulder and are unable to move it after 24 hours
- Severe swelling
- Popping or cracking sounds in the shoulder joint area
- Loss of feeling or pins and needles in the hand or arm
- Difficulty conducting everyday activities
How Dr James McLean can help
Dr James McLean has extensive upper limb experience, including soft tissue and bone injuries.
He will work with you to develop a treatment plan that will have the best possible outcome for your shoulder injury. Dr James McLean will discuss the following during your consultation.
- The type of injury
- Severity of the injury
- Treatment options
- Possible complications
- Whether surgery is necessary
- Length of recovery time after shoulder surgery
- Short and long-term expected outcome