BMI The Beardwood HospitalPreston New Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 7AE Directions
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Restoring mobility to your shoulder
Those with chronic (long-term) issues may have been dealing with pain over the past year, with the pain slowly getting worse, and increasing difficulty moving your shoulder around. You may also have had to start taking stronger painkillers to help deal with the pain.
Shoulder and elbow pain can affect anyone. There may be a higher chance of older patients dealing with degenerative conditions due to the body’s natural ageing process, and sports injuries tend to be more common in younger patients, but it can vary.
When these issues start to interfere with your daily life, you’ll want relief, fast. At The Beardwood, our consultants are focused on getting you a diagnosis promptly, forming an appropriate treatment plan for your needs and helping you towards recovery as soon as possible.
With four main joints in your shoulder, it’s no surprise that issues can arise easily. Common complaints and conditions include:
Physiotherapy often plays a large role in the rehabilitation of various shoulder and elbow concerns, and our dedicated physiotherapy team can create a personalised programme to help strengthen your arm and maintain mobility during your recovery.
Some specific issues may have their own forms of treatment. For example, conditions such as calcific tendonitis (where calcium deposits form in the shoulder) can be treated under ultrasound guidance with a needle to break up the deposits.
Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow are caused by overuse of the forearm muscles, so a period of rest is often enough for these to recover on their own. Icepacks can be used to help with any swelling.
If you have a very active job, these non-invasive measures may not be as suitable, as your condition may be preventing you from working. In this instance, issues like tendon tears need a more long-term fix, and surgery would likely be the best option in the long run.
This typically lasts 5-10 minutes, and then your consultant will perform a focused physical examination, based on the symptoms you have described, which also takes 5-10 minutes.
Almost all patients will have an x-ray to allow your consultant to look for any obvious abnormalities. This is often enough to make a diagnosis, but sometimes they may also request an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan, especially if you have a suspected tendon tear, as these scans can show the soft tissues in greater detail. All of these scans are available at The Beardwood in our on-site Imaging unit.
Your consultant will then be able to discuss with you the findings from these scans, presenting you with a bespoke menu of options based on your diagnosis, giving you the final say on which treatment plan works best for your needs.
Many patients choose to start out with non-operative treatment, such as steroid injections, analgesia, and/or physiotherapy. If these haven’t been effective in managing your symptoms, surgical options can be explored.
Tears in the rotator cuff tendon around the ball and socket joint of your shoulder are likely to need surgical repair. This is often done as keyhole surgery and can be a day case procedure, although you are welcome to stay overnight if it is more convenient for you.
Frozen shoulder is a common condition within the diabetic population, and can be resolved with keyhole surgery. Similarly, a technique known as Hydrodilatation can be used, which involves your shoulder being filled with a fluid to ‘stretch’ the frozen shoulder, restoring function and range of motion to your shoulder.
Severe arthritis in the shoulder may require a shoulder replacement. This is a larger operation, performed as open surgery, where the damaged joint is removed and replaced by an artificial joint. Recovery times are longer due to the nature of the surgery, but there are very good success rates.
If you have been suffering from significant shoulder or elbow pain, why not get in touch with our reception team today to book a consultation? Our consultants can organise the necessary diagnostic tests to investigate your symptoms, and outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any further scans or surgery if required.
For peace of mind and expert care, book an appointment online now.
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