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Shoulder Arthritis

    Shoulder Arthritis

    Motion of the shoulder joint depends on slick surfaces of the ball and saucer joint that glide on each other without friction. As with the other major joints of the body (knee and hip), the surfaces of the shoulder joint can become worn, losing their smooth cartilage surface. As the arthritic process progresses, the ball and saucer bones themselves wear and become misshapen, often with large bone spurs and loose bodies filling the joint. The capsule becomes stiff and immobile, further restricting motion. The “bone on bone” contact makes any motion of the joint very painful and stiff. Conservative treatment consists of rest, decreased use of the shoulder, oral anti-inflammatories, and cortisone injections no more often than every four months or so. Definitive treatment, shoulder replacement, is usually very successful in alleviating pain and improving range of motion to perform everyday and athletic tasks.