Healthy bones and joints allow the shoulder to move easily in many directions, including forwards, backwards, around in a circle, and away from the body. Arthritis, which is loss of the normal cartilage, or smooth surfaces that line your shoulder joint, makes moving your shoulder and arm painful. In addition to pain, arthritis inflammation can cause swelling and joint damage. Types of shoulder arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis – The natural aging process can wear away at the cartilage between the bones at your shoulder joints, causing inflammation and pain.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – This immune system dysfunction attacks and wears away the cartilage lining between the bones in your shoulder joint. The disease often affects multiple joints in your body.
- Post-traumatic arthritis – This is a form of arthritis that results from an injury or fracture to the shoulder.
Shoulder Arthritis Care in Washington, D.C.
The orthopaedic shoulder surgeons at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital have unique expertise in managing shoulder arthritis. Everyone on our team is fellowship trained in shoulder surgery and focuses exclusively on shoulder surgery and treatment. We specialize in the most advanced shoulder treatment options, including total shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder arthroplasty. In fact, we perform more reverse shoulder replacement procedures than any other hospital in Washington, D.C.
No matter what your treatment needs, our primary goals are to minimize your pain and help you regain strength in your shoulder and arm. We get started by spending time with you and your family, explaining your condition, and answering all of your questions. Then, we work together to customize a treatment plan that is effective and feels most appropriate for your lifestyle.
Learn more about:
- Shoulder arthritis treatment at MedStar Georgetown
- Why MedStar Georgetown is a nationally recognized for excellence in orthopaedic care.
Make an appointment today.
Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms
Shoulder arthritis symptoms generally include:
- Pain in the shoulder
- Redness or heat in the area
- Trouble raising your arm
- Clicking sound when you raise your arm
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Shoulder Arthritis Diagnosis at MedStar Georgetown
The orthopaedic surgeons at MedStar Georgetown are experts at diagnosing the full range of shoulder arthritis problems. Our initial exam generally includes:
- Taking your medical history – This includes asking questions about when your pain began, whether it affects one or both shoulders, and when the pain feels most severe. Other questions may be about previous injuries, whether you have other medical problems, and if you take any medications.
- Physical exam – The orthopaedist will examine your shoulder and arm to evaluate your pain and sensitivity, strength, and range of motion.
- Imaging tests – Your orthopaedist may want to examine the bones and joints themselves using an X-ray.
Shoulder Arthritis Treatment at MedStar Georgetown
Treatment for shoulder arthritis usually depends on what specific type of arthritis you have, and how severe it is. The experienced team of orthopaedists at Georgetown works with you to develop a treatment plan that will be most effective. Our team will recommend any combination of non-surgical and surgical treatment options designed to ease your pain and improve your ability to use your shoulder and arm. Treatment options aside from surgery may include:
- Resting your arm and avoiding painful activities
- Taking over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications
- Applying heat or ice to the shoulder
- Getting injections of steroids into the shoulder
- Physical therapy, including exercises designed to restore strength and range of motion in your arm and shoulder
Shoulder Arthritis Surgery Options at MedStar Georgetown
If non-surgical treatment does not improve your condition, you may need surgery. We specialize in both traditional and reverse shoulder arthroplasty. MedStar Georgetown performs the largest number of reverse shoulder replacements in the Washington area.
The orthopaedic surgeons at MedStar Georgetown are experienced in the most advanced and innovative surgical procedures for shoulder arthritis treatment, including:
Total shoulder replacement surgery
This procedure replaces the damaged joint with a prosthetic or artificial one.
Learn more about total shoulder replacement at MedStar Georgetown.
Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery
Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery is a complex procedure for patients with arthritis who also have rotator cuff injuries. It allows you to use other muscles around the shoulder to move your shoulder bones, rather than the damaged rotator cuff muscles.
Learn more about reverse total shoulder replacement at MedStar Georgetown.