Diagnosis Orthopedics

Arthritis of the Shoulder
Diagnosis

A physical examination and X-rays are needed to properly diagnose arthritis of the shoulder. During the physical examination, your physician will look for:

  • Weakness (atrophy) in the muscles
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Extent of passive (assisted) and active (self-directed) range of motion
  • Any signs of injury to the muscles, tendons, ligaments surrounding the joint
  • Signs of previous injury
  • Involvement of other joints (an indication of rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Crepitus (a grating sensation inside the joint) with movement
  • Pain when pressure is placed on the joint
  • X-rays of an arthritic shoulder will show a narrowing of the joint space, changes in the bone, and the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes).

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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