Experiencing shoulder pain when performing daily tasks, such as while brushing your hair or putting on your coat, can be a sign that you need to see an orthopedic specialist. Arthritis in the shoulder is a common cause if shoulder pain and it can lead to stiffness, pain, swelling, and poor quality of life.
Arthritis refers to the degeneration of joint cartilage. As the cartilage wears out, it can cause pain, limit your range of motion, and prevent you from carrying out your daily activities, such as household chores. The damaged cartilage makes the bones grind against each other, leading to pain and other symptoms.
Treatment Options for Shoulder Arthritis
Should arthritis treatment include both conservative and invasive options.
Conservative treatments include –
- activity modification to reduce stress on the shoulder by reducing movements that cause pain
- heat and ice to relieve pain and inflammation
In severe cases, invasive or surgical treatment may be necessary to relieve pain and improve functional movement. These may include –
- Arthroscopy – Arthroscopic surgery involves inserting a small camera inside the shoulder joint to look at and repair the shoulder tissue. Only two small incisions are needed. Removal of loose cartilage and bone can help in reducing shoulder pain and irritation.
- Cartilage Transplant – The cartilage around the joint can be replaced with healthy cartilage from a healthy joint or a non-articulating joint, or a donor. This is done to stimulate growth of new cartilage.
- Microfracture – Microfracture treatment involves removing the damaged cartilage and drilling holes into the bone marrow. This can activate stem cells to stimulate growth of new cartilage.
- Joint Replacement – Joint replacement surgery is done to replace the head of the humerus and the shoulder socket with an implant to reduce pain and inflammation.