Shoulder osteoarthritis

The degeneration of connective tissue and cartilage eventually leads to the development of a chronic disease characterized by an undulating course and called osteoarthritis. It turns out that arthrosis of the shoulder joint is a pathological change in the tissues of the articular bag of the shoulder. A distinctive feature of this disease is considered extremely slow development. Due to this, the patient does not notice the development of the pathological process. The shoulder joint is one of the most mobile and has a wide range of motion. But that makes it one of the most traumatic, along with the forearm joint. Even minor mechanical damage can lead to the development of the disease.

shoulder osteoarthritis

Reasons for the development of arthrosis

The causes of the development of the disease are the natural wear of connective tissue, inflammation of various etiologies and salt deposits. In addition, a number of factors can also lead to the development of a pathological process, during which the cartilage tissue becomes thinner and loses its smoothness.

Classification of osteoarthritis

There is a conditional classification of the disease - it is primary and secondary arthrosis.

Primary osteoarthritis develops over time during natural changes in the joint with no apparent cause. Secondary - a consequence of injuries to the limbs. Arthrosis of the second type is more often diagnosed in middle-aged and young people. In the elderly, a mixed type of the disease is most often determined. The development of primary disease can lead to:

  • genetic diseases that lead to premature destruction of connective tissue and the development of the disease at a young age. Most often, arthrosis of the shoulder joint appears in women with dysfunctional genetics.
  • Congenital malformations of the joints, which lead to their increased trauma.

The root causes of the development of the disease of the second group include the following reasons.

  • Mechanical damage and weeds from the hands. These include dislocations, fractures, severe bruises. Sprains can also cause the disease.
  • Arthrosis can be called an occupational disease of builders and all those who have the main workload on their hands.
  • The cause of osteoarthritis is considered advanced rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Mechanical damage always affects nerve fibers and the blood supply system, which leads to a decrease in the proper nutrition of tissues, which leads to post-traumatic arthrosis.
  • Violations of the endocrine system, metabolic processes. The unstable work of the endocrine system leads to a decrease in the supply of organs and tissues with essential nutrients, which, in turn, negatively affects joint mobility and contributes to its deformation.
  • At menopause, due to a decrease in the amount of female hormones, the gradual destruction of cartilage tissue begins. Autoimmune diseases such as gout or psoriasis are also considered a catalyst for the development of osteoarthritis.
  • Diseases of the heart and vascular system of the body to a large extent affect the active destruction of the articular bag of the shoulder. For example, varicose veins lead to a slowing of blood flow in the vessels, which significantly affects the nutrition of tissues and, as a result, joint degeneration develops.

Traumatologists always warn that unreduced dislocation over time or lack of proper treatment in the future will inevitably lead to the development of arthrosis. This is due to the fact that the bones grow together and the joint loses its mobility.

The course of the disease

Arthrosis of the shoulder joint begins with a gradual change in the cartilage tissue. Due to injuries or other reasons, the blood supply to the connective tissue decreases, which leads to thinning of the cartilage, its external changes, a decrease in the synovial membrane and the appearance of salt deposits. This leads to a decrease in range of motion and discomfort in this area.

Disease symptoms

The clinical picture of arthrosis manifests itself gradually, because of this, many do not notice the initial stage of the disease and miss the opportunity for quick relief from the lesion.

Symptoms of arthritis include:

  1. Pain in the shoulder, collarbone and shoulder blades. Pain can occur both at rest and during active loads.
  2. First a quieter crackling, then audible in the joint.
  3. Decreased motor activity of the limb.
  4. Painful reaction of the joint to changing weather conditions.
  5. A small swelling may appear in the area of the affected joint.
  6. Complete loss of mobility due to ossification of the joint, this symptom is observed at the most severe stage of the disease.

Degrees of arthrosis of the shoulder joint

The stages of development of the disease have a clear classification. 4 phases of evolution of osteoarthritis have been identified.

1 degree of osteoarthritis

The beginning of the development of pathology is characterized by mild pain in the shoulder area in the morning and evening. There is a decrease in motor activity in the morning, which disappears after some time. There is a slight stiffness of movement. After a long rest with an active load, shooting pains may occur. When working with a hand in the shoulder joint, a barely audible creak can be noted without an attack of painful sensations. Constant pain occurs only during physical exertion, which disappears at rest. It is not always possible to diagnose the onset of the disease using an X-ray examination, since the image shows only the appearance of small salt deposits and a slight narrowing of the synovial membrane.

Osteoarthritis 2 degrees

At this stage of the development of the disease, there is a significant decrease in motor activity. The crackle in the joint during movement becomes noticeably audible, the pain symptoms are sharp, permanent. The joint remains mobile, but the mechanics of movement change significantly. During exercise, the pain becomes more intense and prolonged. During the development of arthrosis of the 2nd degree, the patient does not leave the feeling of constant fatigue. Aching pains appear in the shoulder area, associated with a significant change in the thickness of the interosseous membrane. The X-ray image shows that the synovial gap is thinning several times compared to the norm. In addition, there is a significant deformation of the joint, which leads to the inability to perform heavy physical labor. Salt deposits occupy an increasing area.

3 degree osteoarthritis

This stage of the disease is characterized by a significant loss of motor activity, which can go as far as oscillatory movements of low amplitude. The pain becomes constant, its character changes from aching to acute. This is due to spasms of the periarticular muscles. The bones in the joint become inflamed and sensitive to changing weather conditions. A sign of this degree of osteoarthritis is a cracking sound, audible to others, at the slightest movement of the hand. During an X-ray examination, there is an almost complete disappearance of the interosseous membrane, significant salt deposits are located along the edges. The deformation of the tissues is so great that it creates significant difficulty in moving until it is completely lost. 3rd degree osteoarthritis is the cause of disability due to loss of limb capacity.

4 stage of development of osteoarthritis

In this phase of the disease, a complete loss of movement is recorded, the joint is completely deformed. Accompanied by constant unbearable pain, which is not suppressed by medication. On the X-ray, the fusion of the bones of the joint is noted - ankylosis or the appearance of a false joint - neoarthrosis. The disease in this form always leads to disability. The only treatment is to replace the joint with an artificial joint through surgery.

Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of osteoarthritis

A preliminary diagnosis is made based on joint mobility tests and descriptions of symptoms from the patient's own words. In case of damage or refutation, an X-ray examination is prescribed. At the initial stage, slight salt deposits are noted, the deformation of the seal is not fixed. In the complex stages of the disease, an x-ray image fully reflects the degree of destruction of connective tissue and the area of the affected joint.

For an accurate diagnosis at the initial stage, the doctor may prescribe additional examinations, for example, a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging with or without contrast.

Be sure to prescribe a biochemical blood test to determine the amount of uric acid salts.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint

The golden rule that a disease is easier to prevent than to cure also applies in this case. But if the disease has begun to develop, the main thing is to start complex treatment in time. The nature of the disease is such that it cannot be cured, but the risk of its development can be significantly reduced.

Treatment in the early stages

At the first stage of the development of the disease, chondoprotectors are prescribed, which accelerate the process of regeneration of cartilage tissue, and vitamin-mineral complexes, they increase the amount of essential trace elements in the periarticular tissues.

To reduce the symptoms, the patient is prescribed a diet, it is strictly forbidden to eat salty, pickled foods, various types of canned foods and smoked meats. It is recommended to eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible.

The doctor should prescribe ointments and gels that not only relieve pain, but also help restore the connective tissue in the joint.

Great importance in the process of treatment of the 1st degree of arthrosis is given to physiotherapy exercises. It is recommended to apply medical patches to the affected joint.

Stage 2 osteoarthritis treatment

At this stage, it is necessary to reduce the pain syndrome and completely or partially get rid of the focus of inflammation. In this case, nonsteroidal drugs are prescribed to relieve pain and relieve inflammation.

Just as in the first case, the use of chondroprotectors is mandatory. Hyaluronic acid, which is one of these drugs, accelerates the process of tissue repair. A strict diet is mandatory, excluding all foods that provoke the development of the disease.

In addition to drug treatment, regular physical education is necessary. Physiotherapy is a valuable aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The most simple, but effective methods of treatment are prescribed, such as ultrasound treatment of the affected joint, electrophoresis, point laser impact on the bones of the shoulder joint.

In addition, mud baths, massage visits and traditional medicine are recommended to activate the recovery process. These measures can significantly slow down the development of the disease.

Treatment of the 3rd stage of the disease

The treatment of this phase is a set of measures to relieve pain, for this they administer an injection into the joint with a corticosteroid. The number of blockages should not exceed 4 times per year.

Therapeutic measures are aimed at activating tissue repair processes and slowing down the process of destruction. For this, chondoprotectors and drugs that improve blood circulation are prescribed.

Physical therapy and physiotherapy exercises are also recommended. A strict diet is necessary, excluding foods or foods rich in acids.

Treatment of 4 degrees of osteoarthritis

Treatment of this form of the disease is possible only by a surgical method by replacing the joint with an artificial one. The most common are artificial ceramic, titanium and plastic prostheses. Medical methods, as well as physiotherapy, do not bring results.

Treatment with folk methods

Traditional medicine methods are actively used in the early stages of the disease. Tinctures on medicinal herbs, various compresses, rubs, homemade ointments are widely used.

Folk remedies provide only additional pain relief, no healing effect is observed. Therapeutic measures are appointed only by a specialist, and he also controls their implementation.

Compresses from oatmeal, cabbage juice or honey are widely used. Alcohol tinctures are prepared on the rhizomes of elecampane and golden mustache, lilac flowers and angelica.

Herbal baths are recommended as a warming procedure. To do this, take hay dust, mint, burdock rhizomes, mustard seeds.

Ointments are prepared with herbs sweet clover, hops, St. John's wort on the basis of cosmetic petroleum jelly.

Which doctor treats arthritis

An orthopedic surgeon deals with diseases of the joints, but when determining the root causes of the development of the disease, an additional examination by a trauma surgeon is possible. Since it is precisely the clarification of the causes of the disease that allows us to prescribe the most correct treatment.