Shoulder arthroscopy
An endoscopic view into the shoulder joint ...
6/17/08 6:17 PM
Read more ....

















Rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder

Here you can read:
What is a rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder ?
Signs and symptoms of a rheumatoid shoulder arthritis ?
Development of a rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder
How to treat a rheumatoid shoulder arthritis ?


What is a rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder ?
There are a lot of rheumatoid diseases, which can be found at the whole skeletal system. The most important one is the rheumatoid arthritis, also called primary chronic polyarthritis - PCP. If people are suffering from this disease for a few years, in about 50 to 95% structural changes ( bone and or joint destruction ) may be present.


Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Download flash player


Inside the rheumatoid shoulder ( video, 45 sec. )


Signs and symptoms of a rheumatoid shoulder arthritis ?
Quite often tendons and muscles of the shoulder are affected - the so called rotator cuff. This rotator cuff gets partial or complete tears due to rheumatoid inflammation. Those people are suffering from constant night pain - every night, e.g. while turning onto their shoulder during sleep. About 50% of all patients with rheumatoid arthritis have such a tear, if they are suffering for more than 15 years from that disease. Another sign might be a weakness of the shoulder and / or arm. Shoulder pain might derive from direct inflammation of the shoulder joint structures.
In later stages pain occurs due to shoulder joint destruction - an arthritis of the main shoulder joint or acromioclavicular joint. A cracking or snapping could also be present. Besides rotator cuff tears, tears and inflammation of the biceps tendon could occur. Not very often, an unclear / unknown soft tissue mass is detected, which may lead to the suspicion of a tumor. This could be rheumtoid knot.


Development of a theumatoid arthritis of the shoulder :
Until today, we don´t know the exact machanism how a rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder or other joints develops. It could be defect of the immunosystem.


How to treat a rheumatoid shoulder arthritis:
The first steps to treat a rheumatoid arthritis are pain and antiinflammatory drugs as well as immunosupressive medication / biologicals. Physiotherapy is an important first and long term step to treat a rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder.
If the development of the rheumatoid arthritis goes on, a synoviortheses ( nuclear or chemical ) could be done to treat the inflammed synovia within the joint , to get rid of the pain. At this point an arthroscopic operation, with a debridement of the inflammed synovia and smoothening of an arthritis, including an inspection and therapy of a partial / complete torn rotator cuff makes sense.
In cases with further destruction of the cartilage or bone of the shoulder the implantation of a shoulder arthroplasty ( shoulder prosthesis ) is the method of choice. If possible minimal replacement, like cup prosthesis are favoured. They are very effective for these rheumatoid shoulder patients.


You will find us here


Other themes & sites arround the shoulder:

Diseases of the shoulder ( german ): ,

Diseases of the shoulder ( english ):

Shoulder arthroplasty: , , ,

Frozen shoulder ( german ):

Shoulder specialists ( german ):

Shoulder examination ( german ):

Shoulder videos ( german ):