Shoulder Arthritis

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

The degeneration of the smooth cartilage covering the socket and ball of the shoulder is known as shoulder arthritis. This degeneration can be the result of a disease, injury, or wear and tear.

Shoulder arthritis can appear in five forms. They are:

Osteoarthritis: When joint cartilage has generated, the condition is known as osteoarthritis. People with this condition feel pain and stiffness in the affected joints. Middle-aged adults, more than any other age group, experience this condition.

Inflammatory Arthritis: Inflammation of joints is the main symptom of this type of arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis are some common types of inflammatory arthritis. These conditions cause the degeneration of cartilage surfaces. All types of inflammatory arthritis are treated successfully with modern medicine.

Cuff Tear Arthropathy: Over time, this arthritis impacts rotator cuff tendons. It is a combination of rotator cuff tear and shoulder arthritis. To restore functionality, surgery is recommended.

Osteonecrosis: This condition interrupts the blood supply to the ball of your shoulder, also known as humerus bone.  As a result, this bone collapses or dies. Gradually, it reaches a stage when it can no longer support your arm.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis: This type of arthritis usually follows an injury. Over time, the cartilage surface of your shoulder joint wears out.

There are good treatments for all these types of shoulder arthritis available in Atlanta.

Causes and Symptoms of Shoulder Arthritis


  • Injury to shoulder
  • Wear over time


  • Stiffness
  • Pain with activity
  • Limited range of motion

Non-Surgical Treatment for Shoulder Arthritis

If the condition or injury is not severe, you may be a good candidate for non-surgical treatments. Here are some non-surgical treatment options:

  • Physical therapy sessions
  • Adequate rest
  • Pain medications
  • Ice and heat on the shoulder
  • Corticosteroid injections

Surgical Treatments for Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder Arthroscopy - Subacromial Decompression

It is located between the acromion of your shoulder blade. Subacromial space includes the supraspinatus tendon, coracoacromial ligament, and subacromial bursa. If the rotator cuff is not strong, the humeral head tends to glide upwards. Inflammation can be the result of chronic pinching.

This surgery is an arthroscopic procedure that can be done in Atlanta. The procedure requires making some small incisions. Your physician removes the damaged tissue and a portion of the bone. The surgery also requires creating space for the tendons to move easily. Decreasing inflammation is another goal of the operation. If the operation is successful, the pain decreases and the supraspinatus tendon heals.

This ambulatory surgery does not require you to stay overnight in the hospital in Atlanta.

Possible complications include postoperative infection and nerve damage. However, these are pretty rare. There are also some specific risks such as postoperative stiffness and persistence of symptoms.

As long as you are on pain medication, you will not be allowed to drive. It might take up to 4 months to go back to normal activities. You can shorten the recovery time by following the exercise program strictly.

If you want to return to sports, you may have to wait for about 8 weeks. Make sure you take your time and allow your shoulder to heal. Running can slow down the healing process.

AC Joint Resection

Why does the acromion joint hurt?

This joint connects the clavicle to the shoulder blade. Inflammation can easily irritate this tiny joint space. Arthritis or repetitive activities can cause this inflammation. What makes this arthritis so uncommon is that it affects the younger population. The tissue can become unhealthy due to the inflammation.

How is this surgery performed?

If you are thinking of receiving surgical treatment for shoulder arthritis, you may want to learn about the procedure. This arthroscopic procedure is known as an AC joint resection. The procedure requires making some small incisions.

To create more space, the damaged tissue is shaved down. When there is more space, the clavicle and acromion can easily glide. To some extent, the success of this surgery depends on restoring adequate space.

Other things to know about AC joint resection:

Like other surgical procedures, AC joint resection involves possible risks of postoperative infection and nerve damage. There are also some specific risks such as arthritis and postoperative stiffness.

You will not be allowed to drive as long as you are on pain medication. Before you can go back to normal activities, you will need about 4 months of rehabilitation. You can shorten the recovery time by following the exercise program.

After surgery, you will not be allowed to run for about 8 weeks. Remember that running can significantly slow the process of healing. If you take physical therapy seriously, you may be able to return to sports.

Total Shoulder Replacement (TSR)

Your physician will examine you and let you know if this surgical treatment is for you. If you have tried other non-surgical treatments and you still feel severe pain, you may be a good candidate for this surgery. If there is damage to the glenohumeral joint, glenoid, and humeral head, TSR may be indicated.

Various factors can be responsible for this condition. This degeneration can take place even without any particular reason. Simple wear and tear of your cartilage can cause your shoulder to become arthritic.

Some medical conditions can also be responsible for this issue. These medical conditions include trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, or genetics. Luckily, there are pretty effective treatments in Atlanta to treat shoulder arthritis.

The patient is under general anesthesia during the surgery. In some cases, regional anesthesia may be used. On the front side of the shoulder, an 8-inch-long incision is made. The surgeon removes the worn or damaged part of the glenoid and humerus. Surgical cement is used to attach them to the bones.

It depends on the lifestyle of the patient. It also depends on the fit of implants. Above all, chance plays a role. In the vast majority of cases, implants are functional for up to 20 years. Fracture, implant instability, and infection can result in failure.

Driving is not recommended as long as you are taking pain medication. For office work, you will have to wait for about 3 weeks to return. Running can slow the recovery process and can even be detrimental. So, before you return to sports, make sure you talk to your doctor.

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