Osteoarthritis in the Shoulder
When we see OA of the shoulders, it’s usually the result of past trauma to the shoulders. It can also be the result of years of wear and tear, so you might see it in someone who has done manual labor, for example.
Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Shoulder
While RA most commonly affects the smaller joints in the fingers, hands, and feet. Over 50 percent of patients with RA do ultimately develop shoulder involvement.
OA and RA share similar symptoms, such as pain and limited pain of motion. But an inflammatory arthritis such as RA is more likely to be suspected if the shoulder is red or swollen, other joints are affected, and the patient has fatigue or a fever.
Shoulder pain can also occur in other, less common forms of inflammatory arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout. There are a few other types of arthritis that your doctor will need to consider as well, including:
- Post-traumatic arthritis:This can develop years after an injury to the shoulder. Post-traumatic arthritis can present as osteoarthritis or as a form of inflammatory arthritis such as gout.
- Rotator cuff tear arthropathy: If you experienced a large tear to your rotator cuff in the past, you may have developed this form of degenerative arthritis. A tear can cause two bones in the shoulder — the top of the humerus and the underside of the acromion — to rub against each other, resulting in damage to the bones.
- Avascular necrosis: In avascular necrosis, death of bone tissue occurs due to lack of blood supply. Possible causes include a broken bone, dislocated joint, high-dose steroid use, heavy alcohol consumption, sickle cell disease, and traumatic injury to the shoulder.