Many patients will be started with non-surgical treatments, such as steroid injections, pain relief (analgesia
) and/or physiotherapy. Platelet rich plasma (PRP injections may also be helpful in some cases. If these aren’t able to manage your symptoms as much as wanted, surgery may be needed.
Tears in the rotator cuff tendon around the ball and socket joint of your shoulder are more likely to need surgery to repair. This will usually be done by keyhole surgery as a day case procedure. Anaesthetic teams have developed specialist techniques for giving blocks into the arm in order to decrease post-operative pain.
Frozen shoulder can be treated with wide awake hydrodilatation or manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA) in clinic settings to help with a faster return to work.
Severe arthritis in the shoulder can cause horrible pain and near immobility in the joint. Shoulder replacement surgery may be advised in this instance. This is a larger operation, replacing the damaged joint with a new artificial shoulder joint (prosthesis). While operations like hip and knee replacement are quite well known, most people have never heard of shoulder replacement surgery, even though it has very good success rates.
If any type of surgery is needed, your Consultant will explain how the operation will be done, the benefits you should expect to see from it and any potential risks you should be aware of. If you have any questions or concerns, your Consultant will be very happy to talk these through with you.