You are deserving of the best treatment method available at OrthoBethesda in Arlington, VA if you suffer from shoulder arthritis or another type of shoulder joint pain. The experienced and trusted team at OrthoBethesda provides high-quality care for patients who suffer from arthritis of the shoulder or any other type of shoulder pain, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Our compassionate team will recommend conservative treatment methods to first treat your shoulder pain and will explain your conditions to you thoroughly so you have an understanding of what to expect. If these conservative methods do not work, it is likely that you will need tougher treatment methods to resolve the shoulder joint pain.
Negative Impacts of Shoulder Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder is much less common than arthritis found in the knee or the hip, but it is still painful nonetheless. Shoulder pain makes it very difficult for patients to live their normal lives. It’s challenging to eat, get dressed, bathe, pick up your children, cook, or do anything else involving the use of the arm.
Shoulder pain from arthritis often occurs at a much older age compared to arthritis in the hip or the knee. Like other types of arthritis, it occurs when the cartilage between two or more bones that rub together wears away, causing shoulder pain. Shoulder arthritis can be categorized into any of the following:
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Rotator cuff arthroplasty
- Post-traumatic arthritis
Available Treatment Option for Rheumatoid Arthritis
The shoulder joint can suffer from a lot of physical damage because of sports, car accidents, wear-and-tear, and old age. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other causes of shoulder pain can be explored by looking at your medical history. If the cartilage has worn down, you will need treatment to repair the problems and improve your range of motion in the shoulder.
It is possible to treat many patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the shoulder with non-surgical methods, including any of the following:
- Gentle physical therapy
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Topical treatments such as lidocaine patches, and corticosteroid injections
A large number of these patients will be able to retain the function of the shoulder using these treatment methods, which should be administered periodically on an indefinite basis to see the most success.
Patients who endure any of the following would be better served by undergoing shoulder replacement surgery:
- Unrelenting pain not relieved by the above treatments
- Loss of sleep due to pain
- Inability to perform activities
- Quality of life diminished and not improved with non-surgical treatments
The surgery team at OrthoBethesda handles pain in all areas of the body, including the shoulder joint, so be sure to contact us immediately following an injury to talk to a doctor. Pain relief from osteoarthritis can be resolved via surgery and non-surgical treatment plans at OrthoBethesda in Arlington, Virginia.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Shoulder replacement surgery at OrthoBethesda involves the removal of a portion of the bone that has been damaged because of osteoarthritis or a collision. The surgery doctor who examines you at our office will explain the procedure prior to scheduling an appointment so you have a clear understanding of what to expect. Once the damaged bone is removed, implants are inserted into the patient that and are made of metal and durable plastic.
There are circumstances that prevent some patients from undergoing shoulder replacement surgery, including the following:
- Nerve damage around the shoulder
- Insufficient bone stock
- Loss of deltoid muscle function or bone loss to the point that surgical options are compromised
Planning for Shoulder Replacement Surgery
If the doctor believes that shoulder replacement surgery is the best option for pain relief in your joints after an injury, the planning stage consists of the following:
- x-rays of the shoulder in at least 2 planes to allow the determination of any loss of bone stock, the orientation of the joint, and the presence of any bone abnormalities
- CAT scans and MRI scans to find damage to the rotator cuff tendons or other soft tissues
- Computer sizing of the appropriate components are determined in advance of all procedures
Recovering from Shoulder Arthritis Surgery
If you underwent a shoulder surgical procedure for osteoarthritis, the recovery process begins the minute the doctor closes the incision and applies a bandage. You will be moved to a recovery room and spent up to four days in the hospital before being discharged to your own care at home. The pain will be present for quite some time following the procedure but physical therapy and medication should help improve your situation around the neck and back.
Sleeping following a shoulder procedure can be very challenging and causes shoulder pain and discomfort. You can limit pain in the shoulder by doing the following:
- Sleep on the opposite side of the procedure because you will not be able to apply pressure directly to the impacted arm. Prop yourself up using pillows for more comfort.
- Lie flat to sleep, as your pain and discomfort begin to decline.
- Add some pillows behind your back to help keep you from rolling back on the affected shoulder.
- Switch sides with your partner to help keep you sleeping on your healthy shoulder.
- If you live alone, move the bed along a wall to prevent you from rolling too often.
- Elevate your shoulder by placing pillows under it. Elevating the arm helps to prevent swelling and helps to reduce pain in the joint.
- Keep your impacted arm in a sling to help keep your shoulder protected and prevent unnecessary movement.
It will be at least six weeks before a doctor will clear you to drive following a surgical procedure on your joints after an injury to your body. Causes of shoulder pain and injury can put a damper on what you can do on your own. It is best to ask a friend or family member to stay with you for the first couple of weeks following the procedure as you will have less motion and more pain.
The physical therapist assigned to work with you after the procedure will teach you a slew of exercises specifically for your shoulder and strengthening the cartilage in the shoulder. The exercises you should be performing regularly include the following:
- Neck flexion
- Pendulum, circular
- Shoulder forward elevation
- Shoulder internal rotation
- Walk-up exercise
- Supported shoulder rotation
Aside from these exercises, you should also perform isometric exercises to strengthen your shoulder and improve your range of motion. Isometric exercises include the following:
- Keeping your elbow at a 90-degree angle, stand along a wall sideways.
- Place the outside of your forearm against the wall.
- Press into the wall while you contract your muscles, without moving your shoulder.
- Hold for five seconds and then repeat another five times.
- Place the inside of your forearm against the wall, after turning 180 degrees.
- Perform steps two through five again.
Recovery Times Will Differ
It is important to note that the recovery times will differ when it comes to recovering from shoulder arthritis treatment procedures for the body. Complete recovery differs from patient to patient and is based on various factors, including the following:
- The severity of the injury
- The type of procedure required to repair the injury
- If implants were needed in the joints
- The age of the patient
- The overall health of the patient
If your injured joints required an arthroscopic shoulder procedure, you could take up to six months to completely recover. If your injuries required minor repairs, you might only need to wear a sling for a week or two, take pain medication, and then return to work within a short period. Getting back your range of motion will also vary based on the severity of the injuries you suffered.
Schedule an Appointment in Arlington, VA, at OrthoBethesda Today
Suffering from shoulder pain due to arthritis or any other type of injury can limit what you are able to do at home, at work, or at school. You might even struggle to use your arm to drive. Pain should not rule your life, especially when you can receive the proper treatment from the compassionate and experienced team at OrthoBethesda in Virginia. Call our center today at (301) 530-1010 to schedule an appointment following a sports injury to your tendons, tissue, and any other symptoms you have.
Damaged cartilage caused significant pain to patients of all ages. The joint impacted might require medical repairs for the body to heal properly. That’s why you should always consult with a medical professional from a licensed and trusted orthopedic center like OrthoBethesda. Once the procedure has been completed, physical therapy to manage pain and improve your range of motion will be ordered. Follow the instructions from our doctors explicitly in order to see the most success from the procedure involving your joints for shoulder pain.