Treating Arthritis in the Shoulder

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Baptist Health Lexington: Treating Arthritis in the Shoulder

Learn the symptoms of arthritis and how shoulder arthritis is treated from Daniel Hackett, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Baptist Health Lexington.

Treating Arthritis in the Shoulder HealthTalks Transcript

Daniel Hackett, MD, Orthopedic Surgery:
Arthritis is a progressive disease. When the smooth cartilage on the ends of the joint wear away, this leads to bone-on-bone arthritis. With the case of shoulder arthritis, typically, patients present with pain and dysfunction, either secondary to stiffness and/or weakness within their shoulder joint.

Conservative measures can often prolong a patient’s ability to live with arthritis. It’s more about management of the symptoms initially, common conservative type treatments include rest or lifestyle modifications. Oftentimes, general stretching and strengthening exercises can improve a patient’s functionality, as can the occasional or sparing use of a corticosteroid injection.

I tell patients that they will tell me when the time is right for some type of surgical procedure. Surgical management is very much predicated upon what the patient’s disease process is. It can be something as simple as a minimally invasive arthroscopy, which is where we stick a camera in the joint and clean up areas of arthritis, commonly referred to as an arthroscopic debridement. However, if the disease is a little bit more progressive, then oftentimes, that’s when we will talk about performing a joint replacement. It all is dependent upon a patient’s symptoms and how greatly they’re able to function with living with arthritis.

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