Your New Orleans orthopaedic specialist finds that shoulder arthritis most often occurs in people who are over the age of 50. In younger people, arthritis can result from an injury or trauma, such as a fractured or dislocated shoulder. This is known as posttraumatic arthritis. Shoulder arthritis may also be hereditary.
Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis
As with most types of arthritis, pain is a key symptom. A person with shoulder arthritis is likely to have pain while moving the shoulder as well as after moving the shoulder. The person can even have pain while sleeping.
Another symptom may be a limited range of motion. This limitation can be seen when you are trying to move your arm. It can also be evident if someone is moving your arm to assess range of motion. Moving the shoulder might also produce a clicking or creaking noise.
Diagnosing Shoulder Arthritis
To diagnose shoulder osteoarthritis, the your orthopaedic specialist in New Orleans will take a medical history and do a physical exam to assess pain, tenderness, and loss of motion and to look for other signs in surrounding tissues. At this point, your orthopaedic surgeon may be able to tell if the muscle near the joint has signs of atrophy, or weakness, from lack of use.
Tests that might be ordered to diagnose osteoarthritis of the shoulder include:
- Blood tests, mainly to look for rheumatoid arthritis, but also to exclude other diseases;
- Removal of the lubricating fluid in the lining of the joint, for analysis;
- MRI scans.
Treatment of Shoulder Arthritis
The first treatments for arthritis of the shoulder do not involve surgery. Your orthopaedic surgeon of New Orleans may recommend:
- Resting the shoulder joint;
- Taking over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
- Performing physical therapy;
- Performing range-of-motion exercises;
- Applying moist heat;
- Applying ice to the shoulder;
- Taking the dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin.
If nonsurgical treatments do not work effectively, there are surgeries available. As with any surgery, there are certain risks and potential complications, including infection or problems with anesthesia.
We want to be your trusted Orthopaedic Specialists of New Orleans. If you are experiencing the symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis, please call our office at 504-897-7877 and a member of our caring staff will be happy to help you.
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