What are the signs and symptoms of glenohumeral arthritis?

Pain from bone-on-bone rubbing within the joint is the most common symptom of glenohumeral arthritis
  • At first the pain may come and go, but it tends to increase with time, usually over several years.
  • Movement usually adds to the discomfort.
  • The pain is commonly present at night, and interferes with sleep.
  • There may or may not be pain at rest.
Loss of motion is another common symptom. Possible causes of motion loss include:
  • Osteophytes that block joint motion
  • Constriction of the joint capsule due to chronic inflammation, pain, and disuse
  • Fractures or previous surgeries that may have changed joint structure and interfered with motion
  • Weakness of the supporting muscles following a rotator cuff tear
Other symptoms may be:
  • Atrophy (wasting away) of shoulder muscles due to disuse
  • Swelling in the shoulder due to inflammation
  • Crepitus (clicking or crunching sound) during shoulder motion
  • Tenderness with palpation (touch) affecting the entire shoulder region or specific areas

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