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Shoulder Arthritis Specialist

Commons Clinic

Eric S. Millstein, MD

Knee & Shoulder Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Century City, Los Angeles, CA

Shoulder arthritis can be painful, even when you’re sleeping. This can have a devastating effect your quality of life, but luckily today there are many treatments, both nonsurgical and surgical, to alleviate the symptoms of shoulder arthritis. At Millstein Orthopedics in Century City, California, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric S. Millstein has expert experience in diagnosis, conservative treatments, and arthroscopic surgery for shoulder osteoarthritis and injuries. To learn more, call the office or book an appointment online.

Shoulder Arthritis Q & A

What is shoulder arthritis?

Osteoarthritis — also known as “wear-and-tear” arthritis — is the most common type of arthritis, and it occurs when the cartilage that protects the joint and allows it to move begins to wear down or degenerate. This can cause the bones in the joint to scrape against each other with every movement, resulting in pain.

Shoulder osteoarthritis can occur in one or both of the joints that make up your shoulder, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint and the glenohumeral joint.

Shoulder arthritis most often affects people over the age of 50; however, younger adults can get shoulder osteoarthritis if they have a hereditary predisposition or if they experience an injury to the shoulder, such as dislocation.

Shoulder arthritis is particularly common in people who work in jobs that require repetitive movements and physical activity, such as athletes or construction workers.

What are the symptoms of shoulder arthritis?

The most common symptom of shoulder arthritis is pain, which can occur when moving the shoulder, and even when the shoulder has returned to a resting position. Aside from pain, other symptoms include:

  • Decrease in the range of motion
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Nighttime pain and pain during sleep
  • A creaking noise when you move the joint

How do you treat shoulder arthritis?

Depending on the level of cartilage degeneration, some patients can find relief through conservative methods, such as resting the joint, taking over-the-counter pain medication, and avoiding activities or movements that are painful.

Other conservative, nonsurgical methods for treating shoulder arthritis include:

  • Applying ice
  • Physical therapy
  • Increasing flexibility with range-of-motion exercises
  • Corticosteroid medication
  • Dietary supplements

If these methods aren’t effective, Dr. Millstein may recommend shoulder surgery. Depending on the part of the joint affected and the amount of damage, this may include:

  • Total shoulder joint replacement
  • Hemiarthroplasty, or replacement of the ball of the humerus
  • Resection arthroplasty

The most common surgery for treating arthritis of the AC joint is called resection arthroplasty. In this procedure, Dr. Millstein removes a small piece of the end of the collarbone, so that the space then fills with scar tissue, allowing the joint to move without the bones rubbing together.

If you or a loved one is experiencing shoulder pain from arthritis, Dr. Millstein can provide a comprehensive examination and a personalized treatment plan. To get started today, call the office or book an appointment online.

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