Shoulder Arthritis Doctor in Raleigh, NC

What is arthritis in the shoulder?

Shoulder arthritis refers to the wearing away of your shoulder cartilage, which causes joint inflammation, decreased shoulder motion, and shoulder pain. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. Both the ball and socket are lined with cartilage, which cushions and protects the bone, and allows for a frictionless interaction between the ball and socket.

Dr. David Dare is an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, NC who specializes in shoulder joint injuries and pain.

What causes arthritis in the shoulder?

Shoulder arthritis is caused by damage to the cartilage in the joint. There are three common types of shoulder arthritis, which are each caused by different things:

Post-Traumatic Arthritis of the Shoulder

Post-traumatic arthritis can occur in the shoulder as the result of a prior shoulder injury that leaves the cartilage damaged. These kinds of injuries are more common among athletes but can happen to anyone. Some of the shoulder injuries that commonly result in shoulder arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder

This is the most common kind of shoulder arthritis, which is the result of everyday wear and tear on the shoulder. This kind of arthritis is typical in patients who perform repetitive arm motions, which can accelerate the cartilage wear. Osteoarthritis affects many other joints too, including the hip and knee.

Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Shoulder

Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a chronic inflammatory disorder triggered by the immune system. Those who suffer from this type of shoulder arthritis experience cartilage damage when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues.

What are the symptoms of arthritis in the shoulder?

Visit Dr. David Dare for a comprehensive shoulder evaluation and treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms of shoulder arthritis:

  • Shoulder pain
    • Pain in the top of the shoulder
    • Pain in the back of the shoulder
    • Pain throughout the shoulder joint
    • Shoulder pain that worsens with sports or movement
    • Shoulder pain that worsens over time
  • Clicking, popping, or grinding sounds/sensations in the shoulder
  • Shoulder tightness
  • Limited range of motion in your shoulder

How is shoulder arthritis diagnosed?

Dr. Dare understands that visiting the doctor can be an anxiety-provoking experience. He makes every effort to get to know his patients and all of their current symptoms and concerns prior to making a diagnosis or suggesting treatment options. During a consultation, he thoroughly evaluates your shoulder during a physical exam as well as discusses your medical background and any relevant injuries. He may also recommend one of the below imaging tests to further evaluate the shoulder area and to rule out more serious conditions:

  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI scans

How is shoulder arthritis treated?

Sometimes, shoulder arthritis can be managed using conservative options, allowing you to continue your regular activities pain-free. Some of the nonoperative treatments that Dr. Dare may recommend along with his close supervision include:

  • Rest
  • Activity level and lifestyle modifications
  • Heat/ice therapy
  • Shoulder injection therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

In other cases, the extent of your shoulder arthritis damage may be severe or conservative options may not be enough to limit your pain. In cases of mild arthritis, Dr. Dare may recommend a minimally-invasive procedure called arthroscopic shoulder surgery, which may improve symptoms and shoulder motion. In more severe cases of arthritis damage, you may be a candidate for shoulder replacement.

If you are experiencing symptoms of shoulder arthritis, consult an orthopedic shoulder specialist. Dr. David Dare is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and shoulder surgery. His primary goal is to develop an effective treatment plan using the least invasive techniques to relieve your shoulder pain, restore function, and get you back to feeling your best. Call 919.781.5600 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dare today.

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