Shoulder Arthritis Specialist

Coastal Empire Orthopedics

Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine located in Savannah, GA

If you have chronic shoulder pain and stiffness, it could be due to arthritis. At Coastal Empire Orthopedics in Savannah, Georgia, Jonathan Shults, MD, and his team of expert orthopedists diagnose and treat shoulder arthritis with customized therapies including medication, physical therapy, and surgery. Call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or schedule a consultation online today if you have shoulder pain and stiffness.

Shoulder Arthritis Q & A

What is shoulder arthritis?

Arthritis is a group of diseases that cause inflammation, stiffness, and pain in your joints. Your shoulders are vulnerable to several types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis develops as you age and as your cartilage wears away, leaving your joints vulnerable to friction. The friction irritates your joints, causing inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and pain. 

Over time, the irritation can cause bone spurs to develop. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the synovial lining of your joints, causing swelling and pain.

When should I talk to a doctor about shoulder arthritis?

You should never ignore joint pain. If you have painful, swollen shoulders and reduced mobility, call Coastal Empire Orthopedics. When you get a diagnosis early, the team can start treatment immediately and reduce the amount of pain you experience and its impact on your life. 

How is shoulder arthritis diagnosed?

The team at Coastal Empire Orthopedics begins your diagnosis by reviewing your medical history and symptoms. Then, they complete a physical exam, looking for signs of inflammation and deformity in your shoulder. They assess your arm mobility and gauge your pain. 

Dr. Shults may order blood tests to check for signs of rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions that could cause your symptoms. When necessary, he orders X-rays, MRIs, and arthroscopy to examine the interior of your shoulder and confirm your diagnosis. 

How is shoulder arthritis treated?

The team at Coastal Empire Orthopedics offers personalized treatment plans to address your specific symptoms. 

Many patients benefit from anti-inflammatory medications, including corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Shults might prescribe a disease-modifying medicine like methotrexate. He might also recommend a joint injection to lubricate your joints. You might also benefit from physical therapy and ice and heat therapies. 

In severe cases, Dr. Shults might recommend a shoulder replacement to remove your damaged bone and connective tissue and replace it with medical-grade plastic and metal prosthetics. 

If you have chronic shoulder pain that’s interfering with your mobility or quality of life, call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or make an appointment online.