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Shoulder has sharp pain on movement with pain in upper arm. X-ray clear. History of cervical fusion. Cause?

I am 52 yrs old. My left shoulder has been extremely painful since June with sharp pain upon movement which includes getting dressed, showering, etc... along with pain in the upper arm muscle. I recently had an x-ray taken and it showed no abnormalities. I do suffer from Degenerative Joint and Disc deseases and have had a cervical fusion of the C-5 through C-7 done about 15 years ago. My neck is now in just about as bad shape adt it was then, but they said nothing more could be done for me there. What is going on with my shoulder?
Asked On : Sat, 12 Jan 2013
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hi there,

Thanks for your query.

From the brief details provided, your problems can be due to:-

- Osteoporosis (thinning of the shoulder joint bones) : as such, you have Degenerative Joint Disease. Adequate calcium + Vitamin D3 intake daily will help in the long run.

- Periarthritis ("frozen shoulder") due to spasm/inflammation of muscles around the shoulder joint. A course of muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory pain killers along with passive exercise of the shoulder joint, will reduce your problems.

- Compression over the nerves emerging from cervical spine, due to cervical fusion; or over the nerves passing below the shoulder joint. Regular intake of drugs for nerve-induced pains (such as, gabapentin, pregabanyl, carbamezapine) will be helpful.

Consult your doctor who will determine the exact cause after examining you, and prescribe suitable drugs.

Hope I have answered your query.

Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Answered: Tue, 15 Oct 2013
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