What is the treatment for shoulder arthritis?
Conservative therapies may be beneficial in individuals with mild to moderate shoulder pain as a result of degenerative joint disease. Pain and inflammation can be managed with a combination of rest, alternating heat and ice application, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). If these symptoms still persist, a corticosteroid injection administered directly into the shoulder may be beneficial. When appropriate, a physical rehabilitation program will be prescribed to improve shoulder strength and range of motion.
However, in the event of unsuccessful conservative therapy, or when individuals experience severe shoulder pain and stiffness from shoulder arthritis, surgical intervention may be necessary to restore strength, function, and range of motion of the shoulder. Traditionally, a total shoulder replacement, also called shoulder arthroplasty, was the recommended surgical treatment, but technological advancements resulted in the development of shoulder joint resurfacing. This surgical technique involves removing only the diseased portion of the shoulder joint rather than replacing the entire joint. Several key factors, such as the patient’s age, medical history, and desired outcome, will be evaluated to determine if shoulder joint resurfacing is an appropriate treatment option. Dr. Matthew T. Provencher, orthopedic shoulder doctor, treats patients in Vail, Aspen, Colorado Springs, and the Denver, Colorado area who have experienced shoulder arthritis and are in need of surgical repair.