Are you experiencing pain and limited mobility in the shoulder? You may be experiencing shoulder arthritis. Shoulder arthritis is a common condition, but one that is best treated by an experienced orthopedic surgeon. For Lancaster, PA residents, Dr. Michael Bercik and our team at Lancaster Orthopedic Group provide expert care so you can feel confident in your treatment plan.

Shoulder Arthritis Treatment Lancaster, PADr. Michael Bercik is a board-certified orthopedic shoulder surgeon with years of expertise in the field. He completed three international fellowships and has been recognized for his dedication to his patients and to excellence. At Lancaster Orthopedics, we treat patients with the commitment, dedication, and respect needed to truly bring amazing results.

Five Types of Shoulder Arthritis

Understanding what type of shoulder arthritis you are experiencing can help you to find a treatment plan best suited for your condition. In general, there are five major types of shoulder arthritis.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is known as “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis damages the articular cartilage, which is the smooth outer coverage of the bone. When this is the case, the bones begin to rub against each other and cause pain. Because of this, osteoarthritis is sometimes referred to as “bone on bone” arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is most common in people over the age of 50 and typically affects the acromioclavicular joint rather than the glenohumeral shoulder joint.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the joints. Generally, rheumatoid arthritis will affect the same joints on each side of the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis attacks the synovial lining in joints that lubricates the joint and makes it easier for you to move. Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling in this lining, causing pain and limited mobility in the joints. Because it is an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis causes the immune system to attack its own tissue. Instead of the defenses in your immune system attacking foreign invaders, it uses those defenses to attack your own tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis attacks both shoulder joints at equal rates.

Posttraumatic Arthritis

After a trauma such as an injury to the shoulder causing a fracture or dislocation, posttraumatic arthritis may develop in the area.

Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy

If you have a rotator cuff tendon tear that was left untreated, the head of the humerus may drift towards the acromion and begin to rub against this structure. This causes damage to the surface of the bones and leads to the development of arthritis. This type of arthritis can quickly lead to pain and muscle weakness, and patients may find themselves unable to list their arm at all.

Avascular Necrosis

Another type of arthritis that can develop is avascular necrosis (AVN), which is a condition that is caused by a lack of blood supply to the head of the humerus. When this happens, the bone cells die and the shoulder structures can begin to degrade.

Generally, this happens in stages, and the dead bone collapses over time to lead to arthritis. Avascular Necrosis is most often caused by heavy alcohol use, traumatic injury, sickle cell disease, high dose steroid use, or there may be no known cause. Whatever the cause, quick treatment is crucial to treat symptoms early and prevent further damage.

Let’s Begin!

Those who live or work in Lancaster, PA, and are looking for shoulder treatment are in the right place. At Lancaster Orthopedic Group, Dr. Michael Bercik and our team specialize in conditions of the shoulder and can help you achieve your goals. To schedule your first appointment, use the “Schedule An Appointment” link in the top right of the website or call (866) 564-1000.