Shoulder Arthritis Treatment Baton Rouge
Pain and stiffness in the shoulder is a common problem which can inhibit range of motion and ability to perform day-to-day tasks. In many cases, these problems are the direct result of arthritis within the shoulder joint. In all its forms, arthritis affects over 50 million Americans. As one of the main joints in the body which is responsible for much of the arm's functionality, the shoulder is a common site of arthritic pain.
Types of Shoulder Arthritis
Arthritis comes in various forms and can occur as the result of a number of causes. In the case of arthritis which affects the shoulder, there are five primary types:
Osteoarthritis - By far the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis develops over time after years of wear and tear. The gradual degeneration of the joint leads to the development of inflammation and loss of cartilage.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - RA is a type of autoimmune disease which causes the body's immune system to attack the protective tissues of the joints. For most, this occurs symmetrically and will affect the same joints on both sides of the body.
Posttraumatic Arthritis - Posttraumatic arthritis is a specific form of osteoarthritis which occurs following traumatic injury to the joint. This can include dislocation or fracture of the shoulder.
Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy - A long-standing tear of the rotator cuff tendon can also lead to the development of arthritis. The tear prevents the ability of the tendon to keep the head of the humerus bone securely in place, allowing it to shift and cause damage within the joint.
Avascular Necrosis (AVN) - AVN is a disruption of blood supply to the head of the humerus due to causes such as using high doses of steroids, having sickle cell disease, or traumatic injury to the shoulder. This lack of blood supply causes bone cells to die, the humerus to collapse, and damage to surrounding tissue.
Nonsurgical Shoulder Arthritis Treatments
Treatment for most cases of shoulder arthritis begins conservatively, using one or more of the following nonsurgical treatment options:
- Physical Therapy
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Corticosteroid Injections
- Dietary Supplements (glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, etc.)
- Activity Modifications
Surgical Shoulder Arthritis Treatments
For severe cases of shoulder arthritis or those whose symptoms do not respond to more conservative methods, surgical treatment may be needed. Surgical methods for addressing shoulder arthritis include:
Arthroscopy - Primarily used to treat mild cases of shoulder arthritis, arthroscopy uses a camera and thin surgical instruments to debride, or clean out, the joint. While this procedure will not cure arthritis, it can drastically reduce symptoms such as pain.
Arthroplasty (Shoulder Joint Replacement) - More advanced cases of shoulder arthritis may require replacement of the diseased areas of the joint with prosthetics. Among the specific types of arthroplasty are:
- Hemiarthroplsty - Only the head of the humerus is replaced.
- Total Shoulder Arthroplasty - The entire shoulder joint is replaced.