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The shoulder
Hand surgery

Arthritis of the Shoulder

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. More than 50 million people in the U.S. reported that they have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis.
With the shoulder, inflammation causes pain and stiffness is a symptom of arthritis.
The most common symptom of arthritis of the shoulder is pain, which is aggravated by activity and progressively worsens.

  • If the glenohumeral shoulder joint (ball and socket of the shoulder) is affected, the pain is centered in the back of the shoulder and may intensify with changes in the weather. Patients complain of an ache deep in the joint.


  • The pain of arthritis in the acromioclavicular (AC) joint (top of the shoulder) can sometimes radiate or travel to the side of the neck.


  • Someone with rheumatoid arthritis may have pain throughout the shoulder if both the glenohumeral and AC joints are affected.

Limited range of motion is another common symptom. It may become more difficult to lift your arm to comb your hair or reach up to a higher shelf. You may hear a grinding, clicking, or snapping sound as you move your shoulder.

As the disease progresses, any movement of the shoulder causes pain. Night pain is common and sleeping may be difficult.
During the physical examination, your doctor will look for:

  • Weakness (atrophy) in the muscles
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Extent of passive (assisted) and active (self-directed) range of motion
  • Any signs of injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joint
  • Signs of previous injuries
  • Involvement of other joints (an indication of rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Crepitus (a grating sensation inside the joint) with movement
  • Pain when pressure is placed on the joint
  • X-rays can help distinguish among various forms of arthritis. X-rays of an arthritic shoulder will show a narrowing of the joint space, changes in the bone, and the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes).

There are non-surgical and surgical treatments for shoulder arthritis. Our orthopedic surgeon may consider surgery if your pain causes disability and is not relieved with nonsurgical options.
If you are suffering from Arthritis of the Shoulder, call the office of Ortho El Paso for a comprehensive consultation. You will be seen immediately and a proper diagnosis and treatment program will be assigned to you for your best results for healing. Call 915-249-4000.