The shoulder is a joint that participates in basic daily movements and even helps the expression of the individuals through the limb movement. When this joint is problematic, it influences in multiple ways the suffering person’s everyday life.
The term arthritis is used to express the malfunction of a joint. Basically, it is a serious injury, characterized by the destruction of articular cartilage. Just like the osteoarthritis of the hip and the knee, shoulder arthritis may occur without clear cause (osteoarthritis), due to rheumatism (rheumatoid arthritis), after injury (traumatic arthritis) or after chronic rotator cuff tear.
The symptoms include mainly pain during movement, night pain and stiffness. Its intensity varies. The symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe and with the passage of time they deteriorate. Each person has a different potential decompensation of the damage caused by arthritis; thus, the intensity and duration of the symptoms can vary from person to person. At the early stages of the disease, the symptoms are very subtle and are often interpreted as “fatigue” or “tendinitis” and the necessary attention is not paid to them.
Arthroscopy and Biological Treatments
Both at the first and the intermediate stages of the disease, alteration of activities, use of painkillers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hot or cold patches, physiotherapy and use of nutritional supplements can improve the problem.
In advanced stages of the disease, when conservative treatment is not adequate to relieve the patient, more radical solutions need to be implemented. Arthroscopy, i.e. overview of the joint through small holes, is used for quite easy medical cases and for young patients and its effectiveness is dramatically increased when combined with organic reinforcement offered by infusion of healing factors of platelets (PRP) or infusion of stem cells.
Total Arthroplasty and Reverse Total Arthroplasty
Arthroplasty is one of the greatest achievements of orthopaedics, and concerns the replacement of the damaged part of the joint with implants extremely durable and perfectly compatible with the human body. For the shoulder joint, there are three choices: the total hip arthroplasty, the partial arthroplasty and reverse total hip arthroplasty. The latter is increasingly used for shoulder surgeries, both in Europe and America, because of the improvement of the materials used and the techniques applied, giving solution to even the most complex diagnosed problems.
Surgical treatment is supplemented by a rehabilitation program, that aims to a retraining of the shoulder zone so that it can regain movement and function of the shoulder. The time of recovery varies and is proportional to the functional demands of the patient, even though the pain that leads the patient to these surgeries retreats almost immediately.