Shoulder arthritis can be debilitating. Left untreated, it can make even simple tasks like
brushing your hair excruciating. There are several different types of
arthritis that can affect the shoulder, and your orthopaedic doctor in
Marietta will determine which type you have before settling on the right
treatment plan. Here’s a look at some of the different types of
arthritis that can impact the shoulder.
Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a wear-and-tear condition. This is because the
damage associated with this type of arthritis occurs because of repetitive
use of the joint. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage that protects the
bones in the shoulder begins to wear away, which allows the bones of the
joint to slide across each other. This causes persistent pain that will
progressively worsen as more and more of the cartilage is damaged.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s
immune system mistakenly attacks the joints of the shoulders. Every joint
in your body is covered with a lining called the synovium. This lining
helps to make it easier for the joints to move, as it provides lubrication.
With rheumatoid arthritis, the synovium swells, which makes the joints
feel stiff and painful. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause damage to
the ligaments and cartilage in the shoulder and may even soften the bones
of the joints. A defining characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis that
makes it different from other types of the disease is that symptoms usually
occur in both shoulders rather than just one.
Rotator Cuff Arthropathy
Rotator cuff arthropathy occurs after a tear in the rotator cuff. A torn
rotator cuff cannot hold the head of the arm bone—the humerus—in
the glenoid shoulder socket. As a result, the humerus can move out of
place and rub against other bones. It is this contact with other bones
that leads to pain and related arthritis.