Welcome to Orthopaedic Solutions & Sports Medicine Center, PA

Arthritis Of The Shoulder

Major Types of Shoulder Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis: This degenerative shoulder condition is commonly referred to as "wear-and-tear" arthritis because the smooth outer coverage (articularcartilage) is essentially destroyed. Osteoarthritis usually affects people over 50 years of age and is very common in the AC shoulder joint.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: This arthritis can affect a person of any age and usually affects multiple joints on both sides of the body. For example, in addition to affecting the shoulders, the knees and ankles might also show signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune, inflammatory condition of the joint lining.

  • Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Post-traumatic arthritis is a form of osteoarthritis that develops after an injury, such as a fracture or dislocation of the shoulder.


The most common symptom associated with arthritis of the shoulder is pain. Arthritis-related shoulder pain can range from long, mild pain, to periods of intense, sharp shoulder pain. The pain is almost always intensified and aggravated by activity and progressively worsens.

Depending on what joint is affected by arthritis, the pain may be felt in the center of the back of the shoulder. Arthritis in the AC joint causes pain will typically be focused on the top or front of the shoulder. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis will have pain in both areas and a change in weather will usually intensify the discomfort.

Limited range of motion or stiffness and difficulty lifting, reaching or stretching the arm can also be symptoms of shoulder arthritis. Mechanical symptoms such as clicking, snapping, or popping can also be present. As the disease progresses, any movement of the shoulder causes pain. Night pain is common and sleeping may be difficult.



There are many treatment options for shoulder arthritis. Many patients can live with the symptoms for years and will only need to take pain medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and receive cortisone shots to help relieve shoulder arthritis symptoms. Physical therapy exercises also help to preserve motion and strength.


Treatment decisions are based upon the cause, the intensity of the symptoms, and the severity of the patient's disease.

Before a treatment plan can be put into place, Dr. Parikh and his team will need to examine your shoulder and review various imaging studies such as X-rays and MRI to determine the cause of the shoulder arthritis and the stage it is so he can discuss the various treatment options with you and help develop the best course of treatment given your particular circumstances and goals.

Information obtain from