Shoulder Arthritis as a Cause of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder arthritis is a common condition caused by degeneration of the articular cartilage within the joint. When arthritis of the shoulder occurs, the articular cartilage covering the ends of the bones breaks down, leading to shoulder pain, stiffness and swelling. Patients suffering from arthritis in the Van Nuys, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California area may experience mild to severe pain, depending on arthritis type, severity and daily activity level. Orthopedic shoulder specialist, Dr. Mark Getelman specializes in treating shoulder arthritis and a number of other shoulder injuries.
The majority of patients with shoulder arthritis are classified as having osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear” arthritis. This type is caused by the gradual wearing down of cartilage with normal wear and tear, age and joint overuse. Post-traumatic arthritis may occur after an acute or traumatic injury to the shoulder, such as a hard fall or blunt force, because of joint incongruity, and chemical and mechanical changes which occur after injury. Rheumatoid arthritis, typically a genetic condition, occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys its own cartilage.
Arthritis of the shoulder is typically found in middle-aged adults and the older population due to the natural aging process. Younger individuals may also suffer from arthritis if they have experienced a traumatic shoulder injury, such as a dislocation or a fracture.
Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms
Shoulder arthritis is typically marked by mild to severe shoulder pain, typically worsened with activity. The pain is caused by bone rubbing against bone from loss of cartilage. Patients may also experience stiffness with limited range of motion and weakness as the condition progresses, as well as a catching or grinding sensation within the joint.
Shoulder Arthritis Diagnosis
Dr. Getelman diagnoses arthritis of the shoulder after a complete physical examination, series of X-rays and at times an MRI. If rheumatoid arthritis is suspected, special blood tests and other evaluations will be ordered.