11 July 2022,
severe shoulder arthritis treatment

Among the most common causes of shoulder discomfort and dysfunction, shoulder arthritis can be highly disruptive to an individual’s life. When severe, this condition may even prevent a patient from performing their occupation and participating in the hobbies they love. In such a case, a patient may benefit from exploring severe shoulder arthritis treatment options with an orthopedic expert. 

Severe Shoulder Arthritis Treatment: An Orthopedic Surgeon Explains

While conservative treatment methods are typically the first to be tried for shoulder arthritis, severe arthritis may require surgery in order to be resolved. Let’s talk about the various types of arthritis that can affect the shoulder joint and possible treatment options for each:

  • Cuff tear arthropathy, which results from an irreparable rotator cuff tear, is a severe, complex type of shoulder arthritis that is often treated through a reverse shoulder replacement. In this surgical procedure, the positions of the ball and socket are reversed in the shoulder joint to promote better mobility and reduce pain.
  • Osteoarthritis involves gradual wearing of shoulder cartilage over time and most commonly affects patients 50 years of age and above. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that may cause painful swelling in the lining of one or both shoulder joints. 
  • – Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may be treated using minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy, which allows an orthopedic surgeon to view and address shoulder damage via a small device called an arthroscope, without creating a large open incision.
  • – In some cases, total shoulder arthroplasty (aka total shoulder replacement) may also be suitable for patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis; however, it is not generally suggested for cuff tear arthropathy. During this procedure, the surgeon removes damaged pieces of bone and cartilage from the shoulder and replaces them with plastic and metal implants.

Ultimately, the most appropriate severe shoulder arthritis treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on the type of arthritis they are experiencing, their age and activity level and other individual factors.

Receive the Top-Level Shoulder Care You Deserve from Dr. Soffer

If you are struggling with intense, lingering shoulder pain and decreased joint mobility, Dr. Stephen Soffer can help you make an informed decision on the best way to proceed. Having completed a sports medicine fellowship with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Soffer has extensive knowledge and skill in the treatment of shoulder arthritis through both operative and nonoperative methods. Call 610-375-4949 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Soffer at our office in Berks County, PA.

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