Shoulder Arthrities

Shoulder arthritis/ arthropathy, also known as glenohumeral arthritis, is a condition characterized by the degeneration of the cartilage in the shoulder joint.

The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, where the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) fits into a shallow socket in the shoulder blade (scapula). Cartilage covers the surfaces of these bones, allowing them to glide smoothly and painlessly against each other during movement. When this cartilage deteriorates, it can lead to shoulder arthritis.

There are several types of shoulder arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common form of shoulder arthritis and is typically associated with aging. It occurs when the cartilage in the shoulder joint wears down over time, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
  • Cuff Tear Arthropathy: In this condition, shoulder arthritis develops secondary to chronic untreated tears of the rotator cuff muscle tendons in the shoulder leading to abnormal biomechanical forces resulting in wear and tear in the shoulder and ultimately resulting in arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can affect multiple joints, including the shoulder. It causes inflammation in the synovium (the lining of the joint), leading to joint damage and pain.
  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis: This type of arthritis can develop after a significant shoulder injury, such as a fracture or dislocation. The injury can damage the cartilage and accelerate the development of arthritis.

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis may include:

  • Shoulder pain, especially during movement
  • Progressive Stiffness in the shoulder joint
  • Progressive Limitation of shoulder movements
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Grinding or clicking sensations in the shoulder
  • Swelling or inflammation around the joint

Treatment options for shoulder arthritis depend on the severity of the condition and the individual's symptoms. Some common approaches include:

Conservative Treatment

  • Physical therapy to improve range of motion and strength. We are providing specialised physiotherapy regimens, which can improve your shoulder pain and function.
  • Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Activity modification to avoid exacerbating symptoms.
  • Assistive devices like slings or braces.


  • Very rarely we might recommend you Corticosteroid injections to help reduce your inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Hyaluronic acid injections can sometimes provide lubrication to the joint, but we usually don’t recommend this.

Surgical Options

  • Arthroscopy: In some cases, we might recommend minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bone pieces in the joint as well as to bony osteophytes, remove damaged tissues and to smoothen joint surfaces.
  • Joint Resurfacing: This involves reshaping the joint surfaces to reduce friction and pain.
  • Joint Replacement: Total shoulder replacement (Anatomic or Reverse) surgery may be recommended for severe cases where the joint is extensively damaged. During this procedure, the damaged parts of the joint are replaced with artificial components.

The choice of treatment depends on the patient's age, overall health, the amount of shoulder function, the severity of the arthritis, and their individual goals and preferences. It's essential to consult with us for a proper evaluation and personalized treatment plan if you suspect you have shoulder arthritis. Early intervention can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with this condition.

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