5 types of shoulder arthritis

Understanding the 5 Types of Shoulder Arthritis

Throughout your life, the shoulder joints are put through continuous wear and tear. Shoulder arthritis is known to be one of the most common conditions of the joint, causing significant pain and discomfort.

There are five different types of shoulder arthritis according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Here, we look at the different types of arthritis and the symptoms to watch out for.

  1. Osteoarthritis

Caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, shoulder osteoarthritis is one of the most preventative forms of arthritis. More prominent in those aged 50 and over, the condition can worsen if it is left untreated.

As the cartilage breaks down at the end of the bones where they join and form joints, the bone begins to rub together. This leads to pain and stiffness, as well as a loss of mobility. If you have this type of shoulder arthritis, you will notice the pain worsening when you carry out activity.

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis

Commonly affecting both sides of the body, Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Causing the lining of the joints to swell, it could lead to erosion within the bones of the shoulder, and cause the joints to become deformed over time.

The main symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include a warm, tender feeling in the joints, stiffness, the development of Rheumatoid nodules, and fatigue.

  1. Post-traumatic arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis usually develops after a dislocation or fracture of the shoulder. This typically resolves itself over time, but some patients may find it lasts more than six months. If the condition isn’t treated, eventually the bones could change shape, form bumps, and harden.

The symptoms experienced with post-traumatic arthritis are similar to those experienced with osteoarthritis. They include swelling, pain, stiffness, tenderness, and grinding.

  1. Rotator cuff tear arthropathy

Connecting the top of the arm and the shoulder blade, the rotator cuff consists of a collection of muscles and tendons. If you suffer a common rotator cuff injury, it could lead to a form of arthritis known as rotator cuff tear arthroplasty.

If the tear is large, or it is unable to heal, bone and cartilage damage can occur. If you don’t get it treated, the condition can cause severe pain and weakness within the arm. You will also find it difficult to raise your arm above your head.

  1. Avascular Necrosis

Although it typically occurs in the hip, avascular necrosis is another type of arthritis that can impact the shoulder. If the supply of blood to the bone is disrupted, the bone cells will start to die off. In time, the bone will eventually collapse, causing the surrounding cartilage to become damaged.

Caused by everything from steroid use to traumatic injury, this type of shoulder arthritis can eventually cause severe pain and bone damage.

If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, or weakness in the arm and shoulder, book a consultation with our London Shoulder Specialists today for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.