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Shoulder arthritis is an uncommon problem due to loss of cartilage on the humeral head or glenoid leading to a reduction in joint space
Shoulder arthritis can be due to wear and tear from aging (Osteoarthritis), from systemic diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, following a fracture to the humeral head, following decreased blood supply to the humeral head (avascular necrosis), untreated rotator cuff tear (rotator cuff arthropathy).
Pain that is constant in nature and increases with activity, restricted shoulder movement which is gradually progressive in nature and can lead to a significant restriction of activities of daily living.
A diagnosis of shoulder arthritis is made after a thorough clinical examination and performing X-rays. A CT scan may be required if your treating doctor is planning for surgery.
The treatment depends on the cause and stage of arthritis. For patients with early-stage arthritis non-operative management with analgesics, cartilage supplements, physiotherapy, and treatment of the underlying secondary causes of arthritis are recommended. If patients do not respond to conservative management with medications, intra-articular injections such as steroids and hyaluronic acid can be tried. If patients do not respond to conservative management then surgery is recommended
Patients with relatively early-stage arthritis who do not respond to conservative management can be benefitted from doing arthroscopic surgery (keyhole). However, if patients do not get relieved of symptoms with arthroscopy or present with severe arthritis then shoulder arthroplasty is recommended
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