What is the treatment for shoulder arthritis?
Individuals with mild to moderate shoulder dysfunction associated with degenerative joint disease may benefit from conservative therapy alone. Rest, activity modification, the application of ice and heat, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can be used to control pain and decrease inflammation. Corticosteroid injections can be administered if the pain and inflammation are not relieved with oral medications. A physical rehabilitation program may also be helpful to affected patients by improving shoulder girdle strength and range of motion.
Individuals with severe shoulder pain and dysfunction associated with degenerative joint disease, and those patients who fail conservative measures, are best treated with reconstructive shoulder surgery. The goal of shoulder arthritis surgery is to resurface the bone of the glenohumeral or shoulder joint. Shoulder resurfacing or replacement surgery decreases pain, and restores function, strength, and range of motion. Total shoulder replacement has been the “gold standard” for the treatment of shoulder arthritis for many decades. Less intrusive methods of treating shoulder arthritis have been developed over the past several years, and include shoulder resurfacing. The shoulder resurfacing technique involves removing only the diseased portion of the shoulder joint and is less invasive than total shoulder replacement.