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Osteoarthritis of The Elbow And Shoulder: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment



Osteoarthritis of The Elbow And Shoulder: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

One of the most prevalent conditions affecting patients is arthritis—patients with osteoarthritis experience discomforting symptoms like pain, especially when they engage in activity that requires movement. Kristopher Downing, MD, is a La Jolla, CA orthopedic shoulder & elbow surgeon who understands the significance of health care education for patients to gain awareness of this health concern and possibly help them appreciate preventative measures.

Understanding the shoulder joint

Joints are intersections connecting two bones. Healthy bones enhance the mobility and well-being of patients. However, continuous movement can cause wear and tear in joints. The shoulder bone is one of the most prominent bones in the body. The specific bone type of the shoulder is ball-and-socket because the arm bone looks like a ball, and the shoulder blade acts like a socket. The structure of the shoulder joint ensures a wide range of movements.

Understanding the elbow joint

Your forearm consists of two bones, the radius and ulnar. The upper arm bone consists of the humerus. The three bones that interconnect to form the elbow joint is a hinge because it allows for straightening and bending of the arm. 

Two bones can’t move against each other without causing friction. However, one of the side effects of friction is wear and tear. Fortunately, the cartilage found in bone surfaces promotes smooth gliding.

Patients with arthritis have significantly less cartilage covering their bones. As a result, bones start rubbing against each other, consequently wearing out over time.

What causes osteoarthritis?

The leading cause of osteoarthritis is not clear. However, specific risk factors increase your likelihood of developing the condition. For example:

  • Genetics: Children whose parents have the disease are more likely to develop osteoarthritis because the condition is genetic.
  • Aging: Most patients with depleting cartilage are older.
  • Repeated motion: Patients with nibs requiring a lot of movement can develop osteoarthritis because they continually strain their bones and deplete their cartilage.

How do physicians diagnose osteoarthritis?

It would be best to receive an accurate diagnosis confirming your osteoarthritis and potential underlying cause so that your doctor develops an ideal treatment to relieve your symptoms. The diagnostic procedure is straightforward and involves your doctor reviewing your lifestyle and medical history and conducting a physical examination to determine your condition’s risk factors and severity. It would be wise to inform your doctor about any concerns because some information you bring up might influence your diagnosis.

Imaging tests like X-rays night help your doctor detect any abnormalities in your tissues.

What is the treatment of osteoarthritis in the elbow and shoulder joint?

Some of the ways you can manage your osteoarthritis include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet to maintain your cartilage and bones. Drinking enough water also helps to preserve the integrity of cartilage.
  • It would be best to exercise regularly to strengthen your bones and joints.
  • Maintain proper posture to preserve the integrity of your bones.

If your symptoms do not reduce after adopting healthy practices, it is time to consult a physician. Contact Upper Extremity Specialists to discover available osteoarthritis treatment options to restore healthy shoulder and elbow joints.