Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that causes gradual erosion of the cartilage surface of the ball and socket shoulder joint. Typically, several other joints in the body can be affected.
- Symptoms and signs include swelling of the shoulder, warmth, redness, pain, limitation of shoulder motion and function.
- Treatment initially is conservative and can include medications (anti-inflammatory medicines, steroids, etc...) that may be best monitored by a rheumatologist or internist. Injections (steroids), assistive devices, alternative treatments, are other options.
Total Shoulder Replacement
- Total shoulder replacement is reserved for patients with severe pain that is not improved by conservative treatment. Goal is improvement of pain, improvement of function, and improvement of quality of life.