Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elit.

This is some text inside of a div block.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elit.

This is some text inside of a div block.

Emergency Case

If you need a doctor urgently outside of medicenter opening hours.
Button Text

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

It is estimated approximately 20% of the older, adult population is affected by shoulder arthritis. Arthritis of the shoulder causes patients to feel chronic shoulder joint pain, stiffness, and weakness. Patients living in the Jacksonville, Orange Park, Fleming Island, and Middleburg area suffering from shoulder arthritis are encouraged to contact Dr. Aaron Bates orthopedic shoulder specialist. Dr. Bates is dedicated to treating patients afflicted with this debilitating disease and returning them to an active, pain-free lifestyle.

Shoulder arthritis is caused by wear and tear of the shoulder, leading to a breakdown of articular cartilage. Cartilage is the smooth, white coating on the ends of each bone at the joint area. The coating allows the joint to move smoothly and freely with no pain. As cartilage degenerates from wear and tear, the bones are exposed and rub against each other, causing patients to experience shoulder joint pain.

The two distinct joints within the shoulder that can become affected by arthritis include:

  • The acromioclavicular (AC) joint- Located where the clavicle (collarbone) meets the acromion (bony roof of the shoulder joint).
  • The glenohumeral joint- Located where the ball of the humerus (upper arm bone) meets the glenoid (socket).

Patients may experience one or more forms of shoulder arthritis, including:

  • Osteoarthritis- Osteoarthritis is a gradual degeneration of cartilage from normal wear and tear. This form of arthritis most commonly occurs in highly active athletes and the older population.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis- This form of arthritis occurs after an acute or traumatic injury to the joint, such as a hard fall or blunt force. The joint may still experience arthritis after the damage is healed because of mechanical changes within the shoulder joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – RA occurs when the human body’s own immune system attacks and destroys its own cartilage.

What are Shoulder Arthritis Symptoms?

The majority of patients report chronic shoulder joint pain, caused by grinding, and rubbing of bone against bone. The pain may be long, mild periods or sharp, intense bursts. Patients may also experience stiffness, weakness, a grinding sensation, and difficulty lifting or moving the arm.

How to Know you have Shoulder Arthritis

Dr. Bates will perform a thorough physical examination and medical review to determine if shoulder arthritis is the cause of a patient’s shoulder joint pain. The physical examination is designed to determine the precise area of pain and tenderness. He may also perform a series of x-rays and an MRI to rule out other injuries and confirm the diagnosis.

How to Treat Shoulder Arthritis

The main goal of any shoulder arthritis treatment is to alleviate pain, weakness, stiffness, and other troublesome symptoms. Treatment is dependent on arthritis severity, symptom intensity, and the patient’s functional level.

What are Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Shoulder Arthritis?

Since shoulder arthritis is so common, many patients live with the condition for years before contacting Dr. Bates. Initial treatment includes resting the shoulder, avoiding activities that cause pain and discomfort, applying ice and taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Physical therapy is commonly recommended by Dr. Bates to strengthen the joint and return normal function

How to Surgically Treat Shoulder Arthritis?

Dr. Bates typically recommends an arthroscopic shoulder surgery to trim away the inflamed synovial lining and remove pieces of degenerated cartilage in early stages of shoulder arthritis. The treatment does not cure the condition, but is designed to relieve shoulder joint pain and other symptoms.

In severe cases where non-surgical measures and arthroscopic surgery fails, Dr. Bates may recommend a total shoulder replacement. This surgical treatment restores joint function by replacing the damaged ball and socket with synthetic surfaces.

It is important to note total shoulder replacement is not ideal for every patient. Young, active individuals are generally not ideal candidates since the average prosthesis life span is approximately 15 years. Dr. Bates will recommend a joint restoration or preservation technique for younger, active patients in many cases.

Surgery for Shoulder Arthritis options:

  • Hemi-arthroplasty replaces just the upper part of the arm bone (humerus) and is most often used to treat younger patients with arthritis that is primarily on the ball part of the socket.
  • Total shoulder arthroplasty is typically reserved for the older population as it is not well tolerated in the younger, active population. It is very successful in treating the pain related to shoulder arthritis.
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement is used in those patients that do not have a functioning rotator cuff. Each of these procedures typically requires overnight stay in the hospital, recovery is typically three to four months.

Total Shoulder Replacement

Reverse Total Shoulder Procedure

For additional resources on shoulder arthritis, or to learn more about shoulder joint pain, please contact Dr. Aaron Bates, orthopedic shoulder specialist in the Jacksonville, Orange Park, Fleming Island, and Middleburg Florida area.