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Shoulder Arthritis Specialist

Brad Carofino, MD -  - Shoulder and Hand Surgeon

Brad Carofino, MD

Shoulder and Hand Surgeon located in Chesapeake, VA & Virginia Beach, VA

If you experience frequent stiffness or ongoing pain in your shoulder, it could be due to arthritis. Arthritis in your shoulder can disrupt your life due to the chronic pain and limited mobility you experience. At his surgical practice in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia, Dr. Brad Carofino offers both effective non-operative solutions for treating shoulder arthritis and surgical options, including shoulder replacement surgery. He has extensive training in complex shoulder surgeries to restore the strength and functionality of your shoulder joint. Schedule an evaluation online or by calling the office to learn more.

Shoulder Arthritis Q & A

What is shoulder arthritis?

Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. Cartilage is a very smooth surface that covers both the ball and socket. This smooth cartilage surface makes it easy for the ball to move within the joint.

When you have arthritis in your shoulder, the protective cartilage layer between the bones becomes worn away and exposes the bone. This causes the bones of the ball and socket to grind against each other. The most common cause of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear of the joint.

Other types of arthritis — such as rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease — are inflammatory. In these cases, the severe inflammation in the joints may damage the cartilage.

Arthritis can develop in your shoulder due to natural wear and tear, injury, inflammation, or if you've previously had surgery on the shoulder joint.

What are the symptoms of shoulder arthritis?

If you develop arthritis in your shoulder, you may experience chronic stiffness and pain that makes it difficult to move and complete normal activities, such as bathing, performing your job, or brushing your hair.

Many patients with shoulder arthritis describe the pain as dull and constant like a toothache. The pain worsens with movement. Often patients with arthritis feel a catching or popping in the shoulder caused by the bones rubbing on each other.

How do you treat shoulder arthritis?

Dr. Carofino offers several treatments for relieving the pain of shoulder arthritis. Initially, he tries nonsurgical methods to alleviate your pain and improve your range of motion, including stretching exercises, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and anti-inflammatory medications.

If pain and inflammation are interrupting your daily life, Dr. Carofino may recommend cortisone injections and over-the-counter pain-relieving medications. He doesn’t typically prescribe narcotic medications.

When conventional treatments for shoulder arthritis aren’t effective, Dr. Carofino may suggest shoulder replacement surgery to replace the damaged parts of your shoulder. He also ensures your muscles are rebalanced properly.

What are the benefits of shoulder replacement surgery for arthritis?

As a fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Carofino is highly skilled in performing shoulder replacement surgery. Depending on your situation, he may perform a standard total shoulder replacement or a reverse shoulder replacement. During a standard shoulder replacement, he replaces the ball of your shoulder with a smooth metal ball and the socket with an artificial plastic socket.

With a regimen of rehabilitation following shoulder replacement surgery, you can expect to return to your normal activities after healing.

Other benefits of a shoulder replacement procedure include:

  • Reduced shoulder pain
  • Increased mobility
  • Restored range of motion
  • Long-lasting results

To learn more about the benefits of total shoulder replacement surgery, schedule a consultation online or by phone with Dr. Carofino’s office.