Having arthritis of the shoulder or elbow can cause a number of problems, such as pain and loss of motion. There are many treatments available to help alleviate symptoms and restore function. Some of these methods are non-surgical. These techniques may include physical therapy, activity modification, and corticosteroid injections. Some patients may require surgery as well. If you are suffering from this condition, a specialist will be able to provide you with the latest treatment options.
Arthritis of the shoulder and elbow can be caused by trauma, overuse, or an autoimmune disorder. The most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Depending on the type of arthritis, the symptoms may vary. While the most common symptoms are pain and stiffness, the condition can also cause a number of other complications.
When the immune system attacks the joint, it destroys the bone and soft tissues. As a result, there is damage to the bones, ligaments, and cartilage. When the condition is severe, the patient can have difficulty walking, moving their arm, or performing other activities. In addition to these symptoms, the person may experience pain and swelling. There are several medications that can help reduce inflammation, but they may also cause internal bleeding.
X-rays can help diagnose the condition. These tests can show the extent of arthritis and the amount of articular cartilage that is missing. A CT scan is another option. These scans are computerized studies. This scan is helpful because it provides a detailed image of the joints and soft tissues. If there is significant damage, the rheumatologist may recommend arthroscopic surgery or resection arthroplasty.
Both surgical procedures involve inserting a small camera into the joint. The rheumatologist will then see the image on a video monitor. The doctor will then make a diagnosis of the condition. If a resection arthroplasty is recommended, the surgeon will make a small incision and remove a small portion of the bone at the end of the collarbone. The resection arthroplasty leaves a space in the bone that gradually fills with scar tissue.
Shoulder and elbow arthritis can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in the elderly. In fact, it is the third most common joint to be affected by arthritis, behind the knee and the hip. There is no known cure for the disease, but there are treatment options that can help you to manage your symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The most important thing to remember is that if your shoulder or elbow pain is severe, you should get medical attention right away. Injuries can exacerbate the pain, and activity modifications and nonsurgical measures may be needed to ensure that you can remain active. If you have persistent pain, a shoulder specialist can help you get back to your active lifestyle.
If you do need surgery for your shoulder or elbow, the recovery time will depend on the type of surgery that is performed. In general, most people are able to live an active life with a shoulder or elbow replacement. Unlike a knee or hip replacement, however, an elbow replacement requires a surgeon who has specialized training in this procedure.
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