Shoulder arthritis occurs between the humerus (ball) and glenoid (socket) of the shoulder. In a normal shoulder the smooth cartilage surface between the ball and socket permits painless gliding motion.
With arthritis, the cartilage gets worn away allowing the underlying bone to rub causing pain, clicking and restricted motion. The increased force seen at the joint surface may cause the bone to develop spurs that may further get in the way of normal motion. Patients with shoulder arthritis most commonly have severe shoulder pain that gets progressively worse with time and that may interfere with sleep. Restricted motion and painful popping or clicking are common. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory medicine, therapy exercises or cortisone injections. If these measures do not provide relief, patients may consider a shoulder replacement.
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