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Shoulder Arthritis

What are the symptoms of shoulder arthritis? 

– Pain which is aggravated by activity and progressively worsens
– A deep, aching pain in the joint
– Difficulty lifting arms to comb hair or reach to a shelf
– Clicking and grinding sounds may also be noticeable as you move your shoulder
– Difficulty sleeping due to shoulder pain
– Morning stiffness 
– If the glenohumeral shoulder joint is affected, the pain is centred in the back of the shoulder and may intensify with changes in the weather
– Arthritis relating to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint is focused on the top of the shoulder and this pain can sometimes travel to the side of the neck
– Someone with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory arthritis may have sternoclavicular joint involvement and pain in the base of the neck

What are the signs I may be ready for a shoulder replacement due to arthritis? 

– X-rays show bone on bone, CT scans show significant arthritis (generally Dr Herald likes to see you with imaging)
– Can’t sleep due to pain and has tried other non-surgical strategies such as anti-inflammatory medications, physiotherapy and cortisone treatments        without success
– There is reduced quality of life and independence. Washing, reaching tasks and getting dressed are difficult
– There is loss of motion and weakness in the shoulder

What is the surgical treatment for shoulder arthritis? 

– If, after non-surgical treatments such as cortisone, physiotherapy and medication do not relieve pain, surgical treatments may be very helpful in helping  improve pain and help you return to work, sport and living again
– Advanced arthritis of the shoulder can be treated with a shoulder replacement (arthroplasty).
– In this procedure, the damaged parts of the shoulder joint are removed and replaced with artificial components called prostheses
– It is important you keep your shoulder moving after surgery
– Dr Herald’s post-surgical protocol for reverse total and reverse shoulder replacement can be found here