Arthritis means inflammation (itis) of the joint (arthro). There are over a hundred types of arthritis that can affect any joint, but the three most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis inflames the joint over time, as the articular cartilage deteriorates, bone rubs against bone, and stiffness and pain ensue. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system targets and harms the articular cartilage. In post traumatic arthritis, arthritis develops after an injury to the knee, from broken bones to meniscus tears.
In osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, the articular cartilage degenerates over time, narrowing the joint space and causing bones to rub against each other, leading to pain and stiffness. Other symptoms of this issue include a loss of joint function, decreased range of motion, and crepitus. Crepitus describes abnormal noises like popping and cracking that occur when the joint moves.
Treatment for osteoarthritis includes rest, ice, physical therapy, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroid injection. If conservative options do not succeed, there are multiple surgical possibilities.