The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket type joint. The “ball” is the top, rounded part of the humerus, and the “socket” is the bowl-shaped part of the scapula, called the glenoid, into which the ball fits.
In osteoarthritis, cartilage that lines the joint gets damaged or worn off, resulting in uncovering of the underlying bone.
This causes pain, swelling, and sometimes the development of osteophytes (bone spurs) when the ends of the two bones rub together.
Osteoarthritis occurs more frequently in people over the age of 50. In younger people, osteoarthritis usually occurs due to a previous injury, such as a previous history of shoulder dislocation or fracture. This is known as posttraumatic arthritis.
Limited shoulder range of movement
Shoulder clicking or grinding sensation
Initial treatment is non-operative, and includes anti-inflammatory medication, activity modification, physiotherapy or steroid injection.
If nonsurgical treatments do not work effectively, there are options available.
- Arthroscopic shoulder debridement:
In this keyhole surgery, small tools and a camera are inserted through small incisions in your shoulder. Loose fragments of damaged cartilage are removed from your shoulder joint. Bone spurs are also removed. This is only suitable for early arthritis where there is some cartilage left.
- Total Shoulder Replacement:
In this surgery, plastic and metal replace the diseased sections of bones in your shoulder joint. The “ball” of the humerus head is replaced with a new metal head, while a smooth plastic socket covers the shoulder socket.
- Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty:
In this surgery, the location of the ball and socketis reversed. A round metallic head is attached to your shoulder blade and a polyethylene socket with metal stem is attached to your humerus. Suitable when the rotator cuff is torn at the same time
You should visit a shoulder arthritis specialist as soon as possible. They will have a discussion about your medical history, and carry out a range of tests including movement assessments.
An MRI may be needed to assess for other coexisting shoulder issues such as rotator cuff tear.
Early assessment and appropriate treatment of the condition will give you the best chance of a quick recovery. Schedule your visit to Dr Dennis Ng to get a shoulder arthritis treatment now.
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