Shoulder Arthritis Specialist

Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

General Orthopedics and Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement located in Kansas City, MO

Arthritis in your shoulder limits your arm movement and strength as well as causes chronic, often severe pain. If you have shoulder arthritis, the highly skilled team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in North Kansas City, Missouri, excels at providing both conservative and surgical treatments. To find relief from the misery of shoulder arthritis, call Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today and schedule an appointment, or use the online booking form.

Shoulder Arthritis Q & A

What is shoulder arthritis?

Shoulder arthritis is most commonly due to cartilage wear-and-tear. The articular cartilage in your joints protects the ends of the bones, but over time it can deteriorate, leaving the bones unprotected. When the exposed bones meet as you move, instead of sliding over one another as they would when covered in cartilage, they rub together.

The rubbing and catching create friction and inflammation, leading to chronic joint pain and stiffness. This kind of arthritis (osteoarthritis) is the one most likely to affect your shoulder. Other common forms of shoulder arthritis include cuff tear arthropathy and rheumatoid arthritis.

Shoulder arthritis affects the joint where your humeral head (the ball at the top of your upper arm bone) fits into the glenoid (the socket that's part of your shoulder blade). Shoulder arthritis can also cause problems in the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, where the front of your shoulder blade (the acromion) attaches to your collarbone (clavicle).

What treatments might I need for shoulder arthritis?

The Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine team offers various treatments to ease the pain and loss of function shoulder arthritis can cause. These treatments include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Activity modifications
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Application of ice packs
  • Heat treatment
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Steroid injections

Shoulder arthritis is likely to deteriorate further as time passes, so it's not uncommon for treatments that were once effective to stop working. At this point, if your shoulder arthritis is causing loss of function and significant pain, your provider at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine might suggest surgery.

What surgery would I need for shoulder arthritis?

Potential surgical solutions to shoulder arthritis include:

Arthroscopic debridement

If your shoulder joint still has a reasonable amount of cartilage protecting the bones, your Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine surgeon might perform minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy. They debride the joint, trimming and cleaning out any damaged cartilage.

Shoulder replacement

When there's very little or no protective cartilage in your shoulder, joint replacement could be the best approach. Total shoulder replacement involves detaching the ball and socket and fitting artificial replicas.

If you have a type of shoulder arthritis called cuff tear arthropathy, which often causes shoulder instability, you could be better off with a reverse total shoulder replacement. In this procedure, your surgeon swaps the ball and socket over so the ball is in your shoulder blade and the socket is on your upper arm bone.

Shoulder replacement offers a significant reduction in pain and improved function that could go on for many years.

To find out more about shoulder arthritis treatment options, call Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today or book an appointment online.