What are the Treatment Options for Shoulder Arthritis?
The main goal in treating shoulder arthritis is to diminish the symptoms such as pain and limited mobility. Patients in the Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities will find several treatment options at the orthopedic office of Dr. James Mazzara.
Arthritis of the shoulder is common. Many patients live with the side effects and mild pain for years before seeking medical treatment. Patients can lessen the severity of shoulder pain by rest, applying ice to the joint, or with physical therapy. Anti-inflammatory medications or ultrasound guided corticosteroid injections prescribed and administered by the orthopedic office of Dr. Mazzara can help patients with shoulder arthritis avoid surgery.
If non-surgical treatment does not alleviate the pain and symptoms of shoulder arthritis, surgery may become necessary. Based on the patient’s level of activity, severity of arthritis and intensity of the symptoms, Dr. Mazzara will help devise a treatment strategy. Some surgical options include:
Arthroscopy of the shoulder – A minimally invasive procedure using small incisions with a small camera placed inside the joint. Small instruments are then utilized to trim or smooth out the synovial lining and remove pieces of the degraded cartilage. While this treatment will not cure or stop arthritic damage, it can relieve associated pain and symptoms.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery (Arthroplasty) – In severe cases, joint replacement may be recommended. This procedure uses metal and plastic pieces, placed in the shoulder to create new joint surfaces. During this open surgery, the arthritic ball of the shoulder is replaced by a metal ball called a prosthesis. This ball attaches to a metal stem that goes inside the humerus (arm bone.) The arthritic socket is then covered by a smooth plastic socket. It is the motion of the smooth metal ball on the plastic socket that relieves pain and prevents the inflammation experienced with bone-on-bone arthritis.
Shoulder replacement surgery may not be recommended for young patients. Dr. Mazzara will recommend other joint restoration and joint preservation techniques for patients under the age of 70. Typically an arthroplasty is the final opportunity to treat the arthritis and can last up to 15 years.
For additional resources on shoulder arthritis, or to learn more about treatment options for shoulder pain in Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities, please contact the office of shoulder specialist, James Mazzara, MD.
Shoulder Arthritis Presentation