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Mr Harry Brownlow

Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon

BSc (Hons), MB ChB (Hons), FRCS (Eng.), FRCS (Tr & Orth)

Practices at: Circle Reading Hospital

A photo of Mr Harry Brownlow

Mr Harry Brownlow is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Circle Reading Hospital. He specialises entirely in problems affecting the shoulder and elbow regions. He also delivers immediate diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound guided injections.

Mr Brownlow qualified with a first class degree in medicine after having gained a BSc for research in basic anatomy.

He trained on the academic programme in Oxford and gained an MD for a thesis on research into fracture healing. He won the prize for the best written national exit exam in Orthopaedics.

Harry has completed fellowships in advanced shoulder and elbow surgery in Oxford, Sydney and Reading. He was appointed as a Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma surgeon at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading in 2003, and joined Circle Reading in 2012.

Mr Brownlow has collected Patient Related Outcome Measures (PROMS) since 2004 and is one of the few surgeons who publishes his success rates.

Find out more by visiting Mr Brownlow's website, berkshireshoulders.co.uk 

He enjoys relaxing at home with his family and pets. When the opportunities arise he likes sailing and cycling.

Mr Harry Brownlow's clinical interests are:

  • Rotator cuff disease
  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Shoulder and elbow stiffness
  • Shoulder and elbow replacements
  • Tennis elbow
  • Fractures of the upper arm

In respect to research interests, Mr Brownlow is currently involved in two multi-centre national research projects looking at aspects of surgical management of rotator cuff tears and impingement. Hopefully these large studies will help decide how best to treat these two common shoulder problems.

British Orthopaedic Association
British Elbow and Shoulder Society

Diagnosing AC joint pain


Diagnosis of a problem within the AC joint is made by both clinical judgment and an X-ray, which can help to show certain changes in the joint. If things are still a bit unclear, I will arrange for you to have an MRI scan at Circle as this will give us extremely detailed images of the joint to help confirm a diagnosis.

Generally, when somebody first comes to see me about pain that is being caused by their AC joint, they will mostly complain of a significant amount of pain in their shoulder. They may be finding it uncomfortable to lie on their shoulder at night, and when I ask them to point to where it is sore, they will invariably point to where the AC joint is. If they lift weights, they may find the pain becomes noticeably worse when trying to perform overhead exercises, such as the bench press or shoulder press.

When I examine your shoulder, there are certain things I will be particularly looking out for to determine whether the AC joint is the cause of your pain. It will become more painful as you push up high. As you raise your arm up as high as you can, so that your arm is touching your ear, you may also feel a popping, crunching or grinding in the joint.

The pain can often radiate down the line of the biceps. As a result, it is quite common for people to misdiagnose it as a problem with the biceps tendon. In my experience however, biceps tendon disease by itself is incredibly rare. Almost always, it turns out upon further examination that the primary source of the trouble is in fact the AC joint.

Treating AC joint pain


There are a few different options available for successfully managing and treating AC joint pain, and the approach we take will depend upon the severity, extent and cause, as well as your personal preference. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, treatment is tailored to you. The key thing to know is that treatment is available and can be very effective; you don’t have to remain in pain.

Most people come to see me when over-the-counter painkillers (e.g. paracetamol) are not helping to manage the pain enough. Where pain medication is not helping, I would normally advise an injection of a corticosteroid into the AC joint. This is a very straightforward procedure and the pain-relieving effects can be effective and very quick. One of the limitations of this treatment is that it does wear off over time, although the exact duration varies for every person. Quite frequently, when it wears off, the pain will come back once more exactly as it was before.  

The definitive treatment for AC joint pain is a minor arthroscopic operation. This is a form of keyhole surgery and it is used to clean up the AC joints by removing any debris and smoothing out any rough surfaces within the joint. This type of procedure is done as a day case, meaning you will be able to return home the same day. Recovery times are excellent, and you will normally be able to drive again within 4-5 days.

This is probably the operation I do most frequently and is a very low-risk method for treating AC joint pain. In fact, I have carried out this arthroscopic treatment for many high-level athletes, including those involved in rugby, CrossFit, weight training and powerlifting, and they have all been able to return to full activity again.

If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder and are unsure of the cause, why not arrange a visit with me? We will talk about your symptoms and I will carry out a full and detailed examination of your shoulder. If there are any treatments that would be helpful for you, I can talk you though them so that you have all the information you need to make an informed choice. At Circle, you can see me without the need to join a waiting list, meaning we can get you treated and back to full strength and activity again as quickly as possible.

Patient story


I first noticed that something was wrong with my shoulder a few years ago. Whenever I went to the gym and lifted heavier weights than normal, my shoulder would start to hurt. It was the kind of pain where it felt like my shoulder joint just needed to ‘click’ and the pain would stop.

I'd go through a cycle of going to the gym for a couple of months, then having to stop and wait for the pain in my shoulder to improve, before starting back at the gym again. It was frustrating as I was never able to keep the gains I made in the gym.

I decided to get some physio on it, but my experience wasn’t good unfortunately (they weren't Circle physios!); after 10 sessions, the physio told me that I must be making the pain up because they couldn’t fix it with physiotherapy! This was so frustrating, especially as the pain was waking me up at night. I asked if they could refer me to a specialist and (fortunately) they put me in touch with Harry.

I found the process of booking an appointment with Harry was really smooth and incredibly quick. At my first appointment, Harry played around with my shoulder a bit and worked out within minutes what the problem was. He told me that no amount of physiotherapy would have fixed it and that surgery was the only way to correct the problem.

I needed an MRI scan before the surgery, and Harry arranged this. I was surprised how quickly everything was done; there was hardly any waiting at all. In fact, on the day of the surgery when I turned up and went upstairs to the waiting room, I was half-expecting to be waiting for a while. However, as soon as I sat down, it seemed that I saw the nurse, physio, anesthetist and then Harry himself, without any overlap or wait at all. I was massively impressed with this.

The operation went well, and Harry came and talked with me about it when I had woken up. He explained what had been wrong with my shoulder and what he had done to fix it. He told me to expect a full recovery to take between 3-6 months and then gave me some exercises to do to help with my recovery.

I came back to see Harry three weeks after my surgery and my shoulder had pretty much healed by then. There was still a little bit of pain, but he'd clearly done such an amazing job that the recovery was brilliant. In fact, within 5 weeks of having the surgery I was back at the gym, building up my strength again. Today, my shoulder feels absolutely fine, with absolutely no niggles or issues.

I can't sing Harry's praises enough. He has been absolutely brilliant throughout. I think that my right shoulder is going to have to go through the same process at some stage in the future and I will definitely be asking Harry to do that one as well!

 

The limitations of standard treatment


When somebody dislocates their shoulder, they tend to go to A&E to have it put back into the correct place (reduced). When their pain has settled, they then have physiotherapy to regain strength and movement in the joint.

What they don’t necessarily always realise is that this first dislocation hugely increases the probability of further dislocations in the future. Unfortunately, the statistics are very heavily set against you after you've dislocated your shoulder once on the rugby pitch; as a young man, if you returned to rugby after a shoulder dislocation you have a more than 90% risk of re-dislocation, and that's despite the best possible rehab and good physiotherapy.

The problem is that your first dislocation will have damaged the tissues and ligaments in the shoulder, and these will never fully heal themselves. Once the damage is done the first time you are then, unfortunately, very vulnerable to further problems in the future.

Surgical treatments for a dislocated shoulder


Usually, people come to me once they have dislocated their shoulder a few times, although occasionally they will see me after their first dislocation.

Diagnosis of shoulder dislocation itself is usually straightforward and is based on the medical history. In terms of determining the best way of fixing the underlying weakness in the joint, I tend to arrange an MRI scan to give detailed images of the joint itself. An MRI scan is excellent at showing the ligaments, tendons and muscles. Using the images from this scan, I will be able to see any problems within the joint that are contributing to the dislocations.  

In certain cases, I may also arrange for you to have a CT scan to assess whether there's any associated bone injury (there is a lot of good research that shows that if you have significant bone loss there is quite a high failure rate from traditional keyhole surgery).

If you do not have significant bone loss, a straightforward keyhole operation, known as arthroscopic stabilization surgery, is very good. This is performed as a day case, meaning you will be able to go home the same day, and it is a very effective treatment.

If you have significant bone loss, and this happens in quite a lot of young rugby players, you're much better off having an operation called a Latarjet, which is named after a French surgeon. This is a more involved operation, yet paradoxically the recovery is slightly quicker and is very good at preventing further dislocations.

The Latarjet is also known as a bone block transfer, as the operation involves moving a bit of bone from your shoulder blade (scapula) and screwing it down in front of your shoulder socket. This prevents the joint from dislocating. The surgery is carried out as a day case, so you return home the same day. You will have a larger, more obvious cut at the front of your shoulder, whereas with the keyhole procedure only a few very small cuts are made. This procedure has a double benefit, in that it significantly reduces the failure rate of surgery while also allowing you to get back to playing rugby more quickly. The Latarjet is becoming a more popular choice as more evidence of its efficacy is coming in from places like Australia, France and America.

Recovery times for shoulder surgery


Recovery from any surgery takes time and varies for each person. As well as giving your body time to heal, physiotherapy plays an important role in helping you to regain strength, movement and function, and our Circle physiotherapy team will help you with this.

If you only have the arthroscopic keyhole surgery, you will be able to return to playing rugby again after 6 months. If you have the bone block transfer (Latarjet), we will get a CT scan three months after the surgery to assess your recovery and healing. If everything is looking okay at that stage, you will be able to return to rugby then. Many professional athletes are choosing the Latarjet as it allows them to get them back to playing much more quickly.

Help for your shoulder problems


If you are experiencing recurrent shoulder dislocations, arrange a consultation with me. We will talk about your symptoms and I will carry out a full and detailed examination of your shoulder. If any treatments are indicated, I can talk you through them to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. At Circle, you can see me without the need to join a waiting list, meaning we can get you treated and back to full strength and activity again. If you are a rugby player, I’ll be able to help you return to playing again as soon as possible.

Patient Story - Robbie Stapley


I play rugby semi-professionally. During one match, I ended up dislocating my shoulder twice, and ended up having to go to hospital for an X-ray.

On the Monday, my rugby club contacted Harry and arranged for him to see me that afternoon. I talked with him about what had happened, and he arranged for me to have an MRI scan to show the extent of any damage. After Harry had talked me through the different treatment options, I decided to try rehab instead of surgery.

That was in the January, and I was able to start training properly again in August. However, I had a number of additional dislocations over the next few months and eventually it got to the stage that I knew I would need surgery to fix it properly. Harry explained everything to me thoroughly, and I was able to book things through the NHS ‘Choose and Book’ system.

I went in for my pre-op checks and tests the week before the surgery. They also gave me a book of things to do beforehand and explained the recovery process. On the day of the surgery, Harry went through everything with me again. He's always very calm and reassuring, a really nice bloke.

The operation went well, and my brother was able to pick me up at about 5pm the same day. I had the option to stay overnight at Circle if I wanted to, but I chose to go home. I had a check-up two weeks later and my sling was able to come off then. I had a few more checks at various stages and at three months after surgery I had a CT scan to make sure the bone formation had taken.

I had that operation in February and was able to start playing rugby properly again in August. I have not had any more dislocations, despite some pretty big hits. I have had one big scare though, when I took a really big hit and heard a bit of a crack in my shoulder. I contacted Harry straight away and explained what had happened. He suggested I go to Circle for an X-ray and a consultation with him. I called his receptionist and she booked me an appointment straight away! I had the X-ray then met with Harry, who looked at the X-ray and examined my shoulder very carefully. There was no sign of any damage - everything looked good and I was able to play rugby the following weekend without any worries.

Harry is always so helpful, I recommend him highly.

Symptoms of frozen shoulder


Frozen shoulder usually starts as an ache in the shoulder but then develops into an increasingly intrusive pain. It's manageable most of the time, but if you make a sudden sharp movement, like swatting a fly or trying to catch something that falls out of the fridge, you will get an absolutely horrible pain. Sharp movements are spectacularly painful, and that is the key thing I look out for in the medical history of somebody with frozen shoulder.

Over time, it will become a constant, dull ache in the shoulder, and even small things like jogging can make the pain worse. People also begin to lose their ability to carry out certain movements. This then increases the problem, as it's not just pain that's stopping the movement, there is actually a physical restriction to their range of movement. For women, this may mean that they are no longer able to get their hand up to reach their bra. Men may find they are not able to thread their belt or reach their back pocket.

Night pain is also a very common feature of frozen shoulder, and this can have a real effect on the quality of life.

Treating frozen shoulder

In terms of treating a frozen shoulder, there are three main options; waiting, pain-relieving injection or manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA). Some people also may try physiotherapy, although most will usually find it too painful and stop fairly quickly.

  • Natural resolution: I always say that if we abandoned you on a desert island with a frozen shoulder and then came back again in 18 months, your arm would be normal, you'd have no more pain, you would have full movement and your shoulder would work perfectly for the rest of your life. However (and this is a significant disadvantage), this can be very slow, taking anywhere between 12-18 months. While some people may be okay choosing this option, many people prefer to be more proactive in their treatment.
  • Cortisone injection: If somebody would rather not wait 12-18 months for a natural resolution, the next step would be for them to have a cortisone injection into the middle of their shoulder joint. In my experience, this is best done using ultrasound to make sure that it goes in at exactly the right position. A cortisone injection is very effective for relieving pain. It can sometimes take a week or so to have full effect, and although it takes the pain away, your shoulder will still be tight. For many people, this is the right treatment option; their horrible, sharp pains will settle, their constant low background pain will go, and their nights will be better. Although they will still be tight, they can manage the tightness if they know that it will get better eventually. The key thing for most people is to stop the pain.
  • Manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA): For a smaller proportion of people, the lack of movement is really the most significant problem. This may be interfering with their work, their sports, or they just want the whole thing to go away as quickly as possible. In these cases, we do a minor operation called a ‘manipulation under anesthetic’ in which we stretch the shoulder and give an injection into the shoulder while you're asleep under a general anaesthetic. As simple as it sounds, this recovers all the movement in the shoulder. It will take about 4 weeks for you to fully recover and you will need to do a lot of physiotherapy, but after that your shoulder will be fully back to normal again.

Help with your frozen shoulder


If you are struggling with a frozen shoulder, or any other shoulder problem, why not arrange a consultation with me? I will carry out a comprehensive examination of your shoulder, and if any treatment is needed, I can talk you through the different options so that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. At Circle, you can see me quickly, meaning I can help get you treated and back to full strength and activity again as soon as possible.

Patient story -Claire Pulleyn 

I exercise twice a day, usually with a combination of running, yoga or Pilates. I keep log of my exercise so that I can see my progress. This is how I knew I had an injury; I remember logging down that my shoulder was hurting. At first, I thought it was probably just delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), so I kept on exercising through the pain.

I then fell on holiday, and my shoulder was still hurting when I came home, so I called my private health provider who referred me for 6-8 weeks of physiotherapy. Whilst I saw some improvement, on days immediately after the physiotherapy the pain was actually getting worse. It was actually my physiotherapist who recommended Harry Brownlow to me. I called my private health provider and they gave my two surgeons who were on their approved list. Harry was one of them, and as I’d heard good things about him from other people, I chose to see him.

When I went for my initial consultation, my movements were incredibly restricted. While I was still running, it wasn’t comfortable. I was also still doing yoga and Pilates but was having to restrict them to lower body exercises rather than the top half of my body because I couldn’t lie on one side. It was also beginning to interrupt my sleep pattern, and I was waking up numb down one side.

Harry was brilliant. He immediately diagnosed frozen shoulder, and then did an ultrasound to confirm. He talked me through my treatment options, which were to do nothing, to have an injection or to have a manipulation under anaesthetic.

There was no pressure at all put on me to decide there and then, and I could have gone away to consider the options. However, I couldn’t see any point in waiting as the problem was just so restrictive to my lifestyle. I chose to have the manipulation under anaesthetic.

When I went in for it a few days later, I had the procedure done around lunchtime and was then home by 4pm! It was so quick.

The physio came to see me before I was discharged with a list of exercises to do. I did them religiously and my shoulder is vastly improved from what it was. I don’t have any pain at all. While it isn’t yet perfect, it is improving every week - it’s just a slow process.

Harry was very reassuring from the very beginning, which made my choice easy. I had already made the decision before I even entered the room that if he suggested surgery as a treatment option, I would take it. I know that if I had wanted to delay, or to go away and have a think about it, he would have been incredibly patient with me. I am so pleased I chose to have Harry treat me.

Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear


Night pain is a major feature of rotator cuff tear, and this can have a knock-on effect on your quality of life. If you’re being woken every night by your shoulder pain, it can be very frustrating, as well as exhausting.

Many people with a rotator cuff tear will find that their shoulder hurts when they try to do anything at or above shoulder height. With your arms down by side (for example, carrying a tray close to you), you would probably have no pain at all, but if you tried to lift something moderately heavy down from a high shelf, it might really hurt. You may even find it impossible to do so as the pain is too severe.

Even a relatively trivial injury can have a big effect. For example, I saw a gentleman the other day who had torn his rotator cuff while playing golf. He had hit a bad shot when he felt a searing pain in his upper arm usually. A simple thing like a golf swing, and it tore his rotator cuff.

Some of the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear can also been seen in other shoulder problems. If you have pain in or around your shoulder, I always recommend you seek expert help.

Treatment options for a rotator cuff tear


There are a number of treatment options for a rotator cuff tear, and these will depend very much on the extent of the tear and the severity of your symptoms.

As a first line treatment, it’s always best to start with a simple painkiller or anti-inflammatory for a short period, if you can tolerate it. These can often make the pain more manageable, although the underlying cause of the problem will still be there.

Physiotherapy can be a really helpful in the management of rotator cuff tears, although sometimes people find it is too painful for them to do. Our Circle physiotherapists can help you with the correct exercises and movements.

If medication and physiotherapy are not as effective as you would like at relieving your symptoms, you may consider having a cortisone injection into the shoulder. This has both a pain relieving and an anti-inflammatory effect. Most people will experience pain relief for several weeks, during which time physiotherapy can be carried out. The effects of a cortisone injection will eventually wear off over time. They can be repeated, although often additional injections can have less of an effect.

If we have tried all these treatments but your shoulder is still troublesome, I would usually perform an ultrasound scan of your shoulder there and then, as this will tell us everything we need to know about the cause of your pain. Ultrasound is excellent as showing soft tissues and can help determine the extent of any tears in the tendons and muscles of the shoulder.

If the ultrasound scan confirms a tear in your rotator cuff, we can do a rotator cuff repair. This is a day case procedure, meaning you will be able to go home the same day. Rotator cuff tear is done arthroscopically. Arthroscopy is a form of keyhole surgery; only a few very small cuts are made into the shoulder and then any repairs needed are carried out using very small surgical tools.

Following your surgery, your arm will need to be in a sling for around three weeks and then you will follow a program of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is slow. Usually, after around three months your shoulder will definitely feel better, but it still won’t be quite right; after around six months, your shoulder should feel really good again.


Do you need help with a rotator cuff tear?

If you think you might have a rotator cuff tear, why not arrange a consultation with me here at Circle? We can talk through your symptoms and I will examine your shoulder to determine the cause of your pain. If any treatments are indicated, I will talk through them with you so that you have all the information you need to make an informed choice. At Circle, you can see me without the need to join a waiting list, meaning we can get you treated and out of pain as quickly as possible. Rotator cuff tear can be incredibly painful, but effective treatments are available.

Patient story - Philip Drew

I’ve played a lot of amateur cricket. Over the last 15 years or so, every time I’ve thrown a cricket ball, I have had a pain in my shoulder. I didn’t really think much about it, because I was still able to play. I live on an equestrian facility and am very active. One day, when I was lifting some hay bales, I felt my shoulder tear a bit.

After seeing my GP, I was referred to Harry through BUPA. After talking with Harry about the treatment options, I chose to have a course of cortisone injections. These did help a bit with the pain, but not as much as I’d hoped.

A while later, I injured my shoulder again while playing golf. That was on a Thursday, and I was able to get an appointment to see Harry the following Monday. It was so quick. After talking about things, we decided then that surgery would be needed to truly fix the problem.

The operation itself was fine, and my pain was managed well with ibuprofen. In terms of my recovery, I can’t pretend that is was a comfortable experience- it was painful! However, that’s the nature of the recovery and nothing to do with Harry. I had my physiotherapy at Circle, which I was really happy with. I actually had a physiotherapist I’d seen previously, so that was nice.

With physio and rest, I found that I was able to get back to playing golf after around 13 weeks, which was good. I did have one flare-up, which was probably me being overactive, but an additional physio session at Circle helped sort that out.

Today, I have a slight limitation on some movements. I can't get my arm up as high as the other arm, and I have some restrictions with my golf swing. I don’t need to take any pain relief, but if I've played 18 holes of golf, I do feel it afterwards, a bit like a dull ache. It’s not bad enough to stop me playing though!

From my very first meeting with Harry, we've had some really good, honest, open conversations throughout. He is a great guy and really knows what he’s doing. When we first met, he said, "Look, you've got three options really; we do nothing, we try cortisone, or we do an operation. If we do an operation, you really won't be doing much for six months, so let's see how things go with the cortisone injections."

In fact, I think I had two cortisone injections over a period of time. They definitely helped ease the pain, but after about six months they wore off and the pain was as bad as it had been originally.

I have no regrets at all about having the surgery, and can highly recommend Harry.

Diagnosis and management of shoulder arthritis


Shoulder arthritis is diagnosed by clinical observation and an X-ray of your shoulder. When it has caused a loss of movement, the X-ray is really a confirmation of the diagnosis.

When I first meet with you, we will talk about your symptoms and how they are limiting your ability to take part in everyday activities. I will have a check of your shoulder, feeling and moving it around in various ways to help me assess the extent of the problem. If you haven’t had an X-ray of your shoulder previously, I will arrange for you to have one during your visit.

In terms of managing shoulder arthritis, you can try to manage the pain with painkillers and/or activity modifications.

Where this doesn’t provide the relief you ideally want, a cortisone injection into the joint can be helpful in relieving pain and inflammation. However, this type of treatment is only fairly short-lived, often giving only a few weeks of benefits. As the cortisone wears off, the pain then comes back because the cortisone is not really curing the underlying problem, which is the arthritis in the shoulder.

The only proper ‘cure’ for the underlying problem is a shoulder replacement. Most people have heard of hip and knee replacements but very few have ever heard of a shoulder replacement.

Shoulder replacements


Shoulder replacement surgery has been around for a long time. It is an operation with very good outcomes, and it is very reliable; in fact, it is better and more reliable than knee replacements by many metrics. A shoulder replacement is exceptionally good at relieving pain and improving movement and function.

During shoulder replacement surgery, the natural ‘ball and socket’ joint of your shoulder is replaced with an artificial joint. The head of the humerus and the glenoid (‘socket’) of your scapula are both replaced with artificial components. This new artificial shoulder joint removes the pain and the movement problems caused by arthritis and provides friction-free movement once more in the joint.

The operation requires you to be in hospital for two nights, but you will be able to get up and doing things again surprisingly quickly. The Circle physiotherapy team will work closely with you during your recovery to help you regain your strength and function in the joint.

Many people find they are able to return to having good function in their shoulder following shoulder replacement surgery. You will soon be able to enjoy all those things that arthritis was limiting like playing tennis, going fishing or driving.

There are a couple of different types of shoulder replacement surgery, and the one used will depend upon the extent of the damage to your shoulder caused by the arthritis. We would normally expect you to have good movement and to be pain free within three months of your surgery.

If shoulder arthritis is limiting your movements and function, shoulder replacement surgery can help you get back to really good quality of life, pretty quickly. It really is a very good option, even if you're quite elderly, as long as you’re relatively fit. In fact, the most common 'Thank You' letters I get are from people who have had shoulder replacements. Almost always they say, "I just wish I've had this done sooner!"

Recovery times for shoulder surgery


Recovery from any surgery takes time and varies for each person. As well as giving your body time to heal, physiotherapy plays an important role in helping you to regain strength, movement and function, and our Circle physiotherapy team will help you with this.

If you only have the arthroscopic keyhole surgery, you will be able to return to playing rugby again after 6 months. If you have the bone block transfer (Latarjet), we will get a CT scan three months after the surgery to assess your recovery and healing. If everything is looking okay at that stage, you will be able to return to rugby then. Many professional athletes are choosing the Latarjet as it allows them to get them back to playing much more quickly.

Help for your shoulder arthritis


Shoulder arthritis can be incredibly painful and frustrating to live with, and it is often a real relief to learn that good, effective treatments are available. If you are struggling with pain or loss of mobility in your shoulder, contact Circle to arrange an appointment with me. Once I’ve had a thorough check of your shoulder, if any treatments are indicated I will discuss them with so that you are able to make an informed decision.

Patient Story – Robert Gorringe


My right shoulder was extremely bad. Originally, it was ‘just’ aching, but over time it got much worse. When I had an MRI scan previously, it showed that the joint was completely destroyed, with the bones rubbing against one other.

Someone we know had suggested Harry Brownlow, so we went to see him and found him fantastic. He had a great manner, right down to earth, and gave me all the information I required. Due to the severity of the arthritis in the shoulder, a shoulder replacement was the best option. I didn’t even know a shoulder replacement existed.

I had the surgery and I felt fantastic afterwards. Harry came to see me straight away after the operation, to talk through what he’d done and what to expect with my recovery. I stayed a night or two in hospital, and the physiotherapists came to see me and showed me what I should and shouldn't do.

About 4 months after my surgery, I was able to start playing golf again. I had to start off gently, and funnily enough it meant that I was playing better golf better because I wasn't swinging so far (because I couldn't!). Over time, as I was doing more day to day stuff, my shoulder got stronger. I had no pain, which was fantastic. I didn't get full rotation and movement back in it immediately, it probably took another few months. Now, it is incredibly good.

I have also had a shoulder replacement on my other side as well, again done by Harry. So you could say I’m bionic, with the full set of shoulder replacements!

When I had my first shoulder replacement, Harry had taken an X-ray of my other shoulder and could see that was also bad. I would need to wait to have that one until I had recovered fully from the first one, so Harry gave me a cortisol injection into that shoulder to help relieve the pain until he could carry out the second replacement.

I had the second shoulder replacement about a year ago and it’s feeling good. I get the odd little ache occasionally but nothing very much, hardly anything in fact. I played a round of golf yesterday and this morning, my shoulder feels absolutely fine. I can now basically do anything I want to, without any shoulder pain.

I take my hat off to Harry. I am very pleased with both shoulder replacements he’s done for me and am absolutely delighted with the results.

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