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Shoulder Arthritis

What is it and what are my treatment options?

What is Knee Arthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation of the joint, and osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis that affects the knee. Over time, cartilage in the knee joint wears down.  Without this protective cushion between the bones, bone to bone rubbing occurs which can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the knee.

Because this happens over time, osteoarthritis is most common in people over age 50, although it may occur in younger people as well. It is not always certain why arthritis of the knee develops. Most physicians believe that it is a combination of factors that can include muscle weakness, obesity, heredity, joint injury or stress, constant exposure to the cold, and aging.

Diagnosis of Knee Arthritis

Symptoms of knee arthritis include the following:

  • Swelling or tenderness
  • Instability
  • Pain when putting weight on your knee
  • Soreness after activities

In addition to medical history review and physical examination, images (x-ray and/or MRI) will show arthritis development. In the x-ray, the reduced cushion space between the knees may be visible.  Bone spurs and changes to the bone structure may also be present in the x-ray to confirm arthritis.

Many people are aware of knee pain relating to arthritis, and yet many are surprised to receive this diagnosis.  Whatever the case may be, conservative and surgical treatment options exist.  At SANO Orthopedics, we take an individualized treatment approach, which we call the road map to wellness.

Road Map To Wellness: Conservative Treatments

Identifying your goals is the first step of wellness.  Returning to an active lifestyle? Avoiding surgery at all costs? Other medical reasons to consider? We will tailor a plan to fit your needs and goals.

Depending on the level of pain and damage suffered by a patient, we will recommend a treatment regimen that will relieve symptoms. Some of the most common recommendations include:

  • Avoiding activities that make the pain worse
  • Icing the knee for 20 to 30 minutes throughout the day to reduce inflammation
  • Using over the counter anti-inflammatory medications and/or paracetamol (acetaminophen)
  • Physical therapy

Injections

For many patients, injections to the knee may be an option for relieving pain.  Depending on patient history, several different types of injections may be available.

Platelet-Rich Plasma – or PRP injections – use platelet-rich blood to support healing.  In PRP therapy, blood is drawn from the patient and then spun in a centrifuge. This is done to separate the platelets from other blood cells. These platelets are then injected into the damaged knee joint. It’s the growth factors in the platelets that can aid healing of the joint.

Corticosteroids are steroids that are injected directly into the knee joint to reduce inflammation. Patients who find corticosteroids successful receive these injections regularly every 3 to 4 months. Due to side effects, there is a limit to the time frame between injections.

Viscosupplements are injections that mimic the fluid between the knee bones. These injections provide cushioning and lubrication between the joint, which may relieve pain.

Regenerative medicine via stem cells is another less invasive option that may help reduce inflammation, promoting new blood flow, and set up body to heal itself.

Surgical Repairs & Reconstructions

If conservative treatment fails, knee replacement surgery becomes an option. Knee replacement is a very successful surgery but it does have risks.

Arthroscopy, although less common, can be used to treat meniscus tears causing knee pain.

Knee replacement surgery (Arthroplasty) is the most common surgical procedure for severe arthritis. Patients often suffer from arthritis in both knees. The damaged cartilage and bone is removed, and then new metal or plastic joint surfaces are put in place to restore the function of your knee. In a partial knee replacement surgery, only part of the knee is replaced. In total knee replacement surgery, the whole knee is replaced.

As with all surgery, arthroplasty does come with risks.  Infection, nerve or vascular injury, blood clots, loosening of the implant, need for further surgery, revision and those risks associated with anesthesia are some of the risks. It’s important for every patient to discuss these and personal medical history so a treatment plan can be developed.

What is Shoulder Arthritis?

Arthritis is inflammation of a joint (the area where two bones meet in order to allow movement). The condition results in loss of cartilage (the smooth lining on the joint surfaces) and in severe cases results in the bones rubbing directly against each other. Without the cartilage lining, the typical features of arthritis arise including pain, swelling and stiffness.

Because this happens over time, osteoarthritis is most common in people over age 50, although it may occur in younger people as well. 

Diagnosis of Shoulder Arthritis

The most common symptom of shoulder arthritis is pain, which is aggravated by activity and progressively worsens. Limited motion is another common symptom. Doing daily activities, like brushing your hair, may cause pain. 

To diagnose shoulder arthritis, the physician and care team will review medical history and perform a physical exam. Images (x-ray and/or MRI) may be taken and can show arthritis development. 

Many people are aware of shoulder pain relating to arthritis, and yet many are surprised to receive this diagnosis.  Whatever the case may be, conservative and surgical treatment options exist.  At Sano Orthopedics, we take an individualized treatment approach, which we call the road map to wellness.

Road Map To Wellness: Conservative Treatments

Identifying your goals is the first step of wellness.  Seeking an active lifestyle? Avoiding surgery at all costs? Other medical reasons to consider? We will tailor a plan to fit your needs and goals.

Depending on the level of pain and damage suffered by a patient, we will recommend a treatment regimen that will relieve symptoms. Some of the most common recommendations include:

  • Activity modification
  • Using over the counter anti-inflammatory medications and/or paracetamol (acetaminophen)
  • Physical therapy

Injections

For many patients, injections to the shoulder may be an option for relieving pain.  Depending on patient history, several different types of injections may be available.

Platelet-Rich Plasma – or PRP injections – use platelet-rich blood to support healing.  In PRP therapy, blood is drawn from the patient and then spun in a centrifuge. This is done to separate the platelets from other blood cells. These platelets are then injected into the damaged knee joint. It’s the growth factors in the platelets that can aid healing of the shoulder joint.

Corticosteroids are steroids that are injected directly into the shoulder joint to reduce inflammation. Patients who find corticosteroids successful receive these injections regularly every 3 to 4 months. Due to side effects, there is a limit to the time frame between injections.

Regenerative medicine via stem cells is another less invasive option that may help reduce inflammation, promoting new blood flow, and set up body to heal itself.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

If conservative treatment fails, surgery becomes an option.

Arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder aims to reduce pain and restore movement. It is typically used in the younger patients, particularly athletes, and older patients who wish to remain active and delay shoulder replacement surgery.

During arthroscopic surgery, the joint is smoothed out by removing loose and damaged cartilage tissue, bony spurs and loose bodies. Movement can be improved by releasing the scarred joint capsule. In some cases, nerve release may also be used to alleviate pain.

As with all surgery, arthroplasty does come with risks. Infection, nerve injury, stiffness, failure to improve all
symptoms are some risks to consider. Patients may still require joint replacement in the future. It’s important for every patient to discuss these and personal medical history so a treatment plan can be developed.

Shoulder Joint Replacement

If conservative treatment fails, shoulder replacement surgery becomes an option. Shoulder replacement is a very successful surgery but it does have risks.

Joint replacement provides excellent pain relief for patients with advanced arthritis. Several different types of shoulder
replacement are available and the choice depends of the type of arthritis and whether the rotator cuff (tendons responsible for shoulder movement) are involved or not.

All types require an incision (rather than arthroscopic surgery), the arthritic joint surfaces are removed and replaced with an artificial shoulder joint made of metal
and plastic.

Risks of shoulder replacement include: infection, nerve/blood vessel injury, stiffness, failure to improve all symptoms, revision (the need for the procedure to be performed again if it wears out, becomes loose or dislocates, or if you have a fracture).  Sano Orthopedics reviews patient medical history, goals and risks of options to determine the best treatment plan for each individual.

Shoulder Rehab: JPL Technique

One surgical rehab protocol Sano Orthopedic physicians follow is the JPL Technique.  The exercises begin on post-op day 3 and progress until 6 months after surgery.  

Watch a video of JPL technique.

Contact Our Care Team!

(816) 525-2840

 

Our Locations:

Overland Park, KS

12330 Metcalf Ave., Suite 400
Overland Park, KS 66213

Lee's Summit, MO

2000 SE Blue Pkwy, Suite 230
Lee's Summit, MO 64063

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