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Wear and tear of the shoulder leads to damage to the cartilage and over time becomes arthritis of the shoulder, or glenohumeral arthritis. The cartilage lining may be thinner than normal or completely absent As the cartilage layer is destroyed over the years of continuous use, there may become a bone-on-bone enVironment which creates bone spurs from the friction. This causes pain and decreases the range of motion. The degree of cartilage damage and inflammation varies with the type and stage of arthritis. These stages may be defined as follows:

  • The capsule of the arthritic shoulder is swollen.
  • The joint space is narrowed and irregular in outline; this can be seen in an X-ray image.
  • Bone spurs or excessive bone can also build up around the edges of the joint.

In addition to the normal wear and tear, other factors can increase the chances of developing arthritis in the shoulder including, trauma, infection, chronic inflammation, osteonecrosis, chronic rotator cuff tears or post-surgical changes within the shoulder. The physician will most likely order X-rays to determine the exact injury and the type of arthritis. Treatment for shoulder arthritis can be non-surgical or surgical depending on the severity


There are several forms of arthritis, and the symptoms vary according to the form of arthritis The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage. Damage of the cartilage in the shoulder joint causes shoulder arthritis. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury. The warning signs that inflammation presents are redness, swelling and pain or tenderness in the joint for more than two weeks, redness and heat in the joint, limited motion in the joint and early morning stiffness.

The cartilage is a padding that absorbs stress. The proportion of cartilage damage and synovial inflammation varies with the type and stage of arthritis. Usually the pain early on is due to inflammation. In the later stages, when the cartilage is worn away, most of the pain comes from the mechanical friction of raw bones rubbing on each other.


Osteoarthritis is caused by the wearing out of the cartilage covering the bone ends in a joint. This may be due to excessive strain over prolonged periods of time, or due to other joint diseases, injury or deformity. Primary osteoarthritis is commonly associated with ageing and general degeneration of joints.

Secondary osteoarthritis is generally the consequence of another disease or condition, such as repeated trauma or surgery to the affected joint, or abnormal joint structures from birth.

Rheumatoid arthritis is often caused when the genes responsible for the disease is triggered by infection or any environmental factors. With this trigger body produce antibodies, the defense mechanism of body, against the joint and may cause rheumatoid arthritis.


Physicians diagnose arthritis with a medical history, physical exam and X-rays of the affected part. CT scans (computed tomography) and MRI tests (magnetic resonance imaging) may also be ordered to diagnose arthritis.


Some treatment options for arthritis include may

  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicine.
  • Cortisone, PRP (platelet rich plasma), Regenerative Cell Therapy/ Orthobiologics or Hyaluronic Acid Injections (in-office)
  • Physical therapy exercises and heat treatment.
  • In severe cases, surgery may be suggested. The type of surgery will depend on your age and severity of the disease. A Common surgery for treatment of shoulder arthritis is arthroplasty.
  • Athletic Orthopedics

    Athletic Orthopedics

    Athletic Orthopedics

    Athletic Orthopedics
    & Knee Center
    9180 Katy Freeway
    Suite 200
    Houston, TX 77055





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