Glenohumeral arthritis is the wearing and degeneration of articular cartilage in the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder.
The three most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic arthritis, and each can occur in any joint within the body. Glenohumeral arthritis is a common source of shoulder pain in older individuals but is less common than arthritis in other joints, such as the hip, knee or hands. It is believed to affect as much as 20% of older individuals, and can also affect younger individuals, although the occurrence is less common.
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Initial treatment following the onset of symptoms generally relies on the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation). The extent of treatment required for glenohumeral arthritis is dependent on severity of the condition, but the following treatment options may be beneficial:
Pain generally accompanies inflammation due to degeneration of the cartilage in the shoulder joint. Pain management techniques may vary by the severity of the condition but generally include:
Moderate forms of the condition, in which patients experience more extensive pain, weakness and loss of mobility or function, may require more aggressive treatment, including possible arthroscopic surgery to debride the joint surfaces, followed by physical therapy. If this occurs, recovery can expect to take 6 – 12 weeks following surgery before stability, strength and functioning is restored.
Severe glenohumeral arthritis may necessitate joint replacement surgery due to significant pain, stiffness and loss of functionality brought on by bone-on-bone contact. If this occurs, recovery can require 3 – 6 months of intensive physical therapy following surgery, although additional functional gains can continue for up to a year. Quality of life is typically significantly improved following joint replacement surgery, although there will still be some limitations to mobility and function.
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Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.
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