Treatment for Shoulder Pain from Osteoarthritis

Treatment for Shoulder Pain from Osteoarthritis

At Precision Orthopedic Specialties, shoulder pain due to osteoarthritis one of the most common elements we treat.

The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. When it’s impaired, it greatly affects a person’s quality of life and ability to perform everyday tasks.

When individuals become affected by osteoarthritis of the shoulder, symptoms are manifested as pain, a decreased range of motion of the shoulder, sensations of snapping or popping about the shoulder, and difficulties with sleeping.

To diagnosis osteoarthritis of the shoulder, patients undergo a thorough history and physical examination followed by x-rays which most commonly are sufficient to make the diagnosis. Occasionally additional testing to include MRI evaluations and CAT scans are ordered.

For treatment, conservative management is initiated. This would include the utilization of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and analgesics coupled with physical therapy. Additional measures such as cortisone injection and/or gel lubricant injections may be undertaken.

With failure of conservative measures, surgical options are available. The least invasive surgical option would be arthroscopic joint debridement (“cleanup”) which is done to help improve symptoms with regard to pain and function. This type of treatment has been shown to help alleviate symptoms for several years. This procedure is done if patients aren’t ready for the most definitive treatment, which is shoulder replacement.

Shoulder replacement has become more common place through the years. In fact more than 75,000 shoulder replacement surgeries are completed each year in United States. Improvements in implant design have led to increased longevity of the implants as well as surgical techniques which are now done through smaller incisions allowing procedures to be done on an outpatient basis for qualified patients.

Postoperative recovery is roughly 3-6 months and includes sling use as well as physical therapy to maximize outcome. Return to work duties can be completed within 6 weeks of the procedure depending on the type of occupation performed. Earlier return to work duties is also patient dependent.

Consider consultation to determine if you are possibly suffering from shoulder osteoarthritis.