Shoulder Arthritis Specialist

Samimi Orthopedic Group

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Brentwood, West Los Angeles, West Covina, & Sherman Oaks, CA

Arthritis in your shoulders could develop because of repeated injuries or as a result of years of wear and tear. Whatever's causing your shoulder arthritis, Babak Samimi, MD, and David Eldringhoff, MD, at Samimi Orthopedic Group can help. They use advanced arthroscopic techniques to assess the joints and perform cutting-edge joint replacement surgeries for advanced shoulder arthritis. Find out how you can benefit from their expertise by calling one of the Los Angeles area offices in Brentwood, West Covina, or Sherman Oaks, California, or booking an appointment online today.

Shoulder Arthritis Q & A

What is shoulder arthritis?

Arthritis is a common cause of pain in the shoulders resulting from cartilage damage inside the joints.

Shoulder arthritis usually refers to the ball-and-socket part of the joint where the humeral head (the ball section at the top of your upper arm bone) and the glenoid (the socket in your shoulder blade) join. However, it can also affect the smaller acromioclavicular (AC) joint.

When you have shoulder arthritis, it's typically due to wear and tear of the cartilage that covers the ends of your bones. This cartilage protects the bones so the joint can move smoothly.

Over time cartilage can soften, crack, start to flake away, and eventually expose the bone. With no protection, the bones rub together, creating inflammation, pain, and stiffness in your shoulder. This form of arthritis (osteoarthritis) is the most common and may affect any joint. 

Other types of shoulder arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and cuff tear arthropathy.

What treatments can help with shoulder arthritis?

There are various ways to ease the pain and stiffness of shoulder arthritis, such as:

  • Range-of-motion exercises
  • Activity modifications
  • Ice packs or cold therapy pads
  • Heat treatment
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroid injections

Shoulder arthritis often deteriorates over time, so you can reach a point where these treatments no longer relieve your symptoms. If you have significant pain and loss of function due to shoulder arthritis, you might benefit from surgery.

What does surgery for shoulder arthritis involve?

The specific surgery needed for your shoulder arthritis depends on factors like your age and the severity of your condition. Dr. Samimi reviews the options so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. Potential surgeries for shoulder arthritis include:

Arthroscopic shoulder debridement

If there's still some cartilage on the bones in your shoulder, Dr. Samimi can use minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy to debride (clean out) the joint.

The procedure doesn't require any large incisions. Instead, Dr. Samimi feeds a tiny camera on a flexible tube (the arthroscope) into a small cut and uses the images it sends back to guide him as he debrides the joint.

Arthroscopic shoulder debridement can offer relief from pain for one to two years.

Shoulder replacement

If the cartilage has worn away and bone is rubbing on bone in your shoulder, then joint replacement is likely to be the best option.

Total shoulder replacement changes the ball and socket parts of your shoulder with artificial components. If you have cuff tear arthropathy, which can cause shoulder instability, you might benefit from a reverse total shoulder replacement where Dr. Samimi switches the positions of the ball and socket.

Replacing the diseased parts of your shoulder offers significant relief from pain and improved function that could last for many years.

To find out more about your treatment options for shoulder arthritis, call Samimi Orthopedic Group. Schedule a consultation by phone or book an appointment online today.