Stiff shoulder with deep pain
Shoulder arthritis is uncommon. It can be secondary to recurrent dislocations, damage to joint by repeated damage in sports (Rugby, throwing) or secondary to conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis or chronic damage to the rotator cuff tendons.
Pain starts insidiously and gradually becomes worse when sleeping on that side or with activity of the arm. There may be little loss of movement initially but the shoulder becomes stiffer with time. Initial treatment is by physio, excercises and simple pain killers / anti inflammatory medicines. Injections of steroid may be required to keep the pain under control.
If pain is not controlled then arthroscopy can used to improvement movement. If all measures fail then a Shoulder partial (cap) replacement or Total Shoulder replacement may be required. In patients who are elderly with rotator cuff damage (arthropathy) a Reverse Shoulder replacement can be very effective in restoring function and relieving pain.