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Shoulder & elbow surgery

Restoring mobility to your shoulder

Shoulder and elbow pain tend to manifest themselves in one of two ways; either as a result of an injury or traumatic event, or through wear and tear from a degenerative condition. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and inflammation in your shoulder
  • Pain down the inside or outside of your elbow
  • Pain running down the outside of your shoulder
  • Problems raising your arm above your head
  • A ‘clicking’ sensation in your shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping due to intense shoulder pain

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:

  • Arthritis
  • Frozen shoulder (pain and stiffness in the joint)
  • Rotator cuff injury/tendon tear
  • Tennis Elbow (from repetitive twisting motions)
  • Golfer’s Elbow (from repetitive gripping motions)
  • Tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon, often through injury)
  • Bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs in your elbow or shoulder)

Many conditions can be managed successfully without surgery. Non-invasive options such as steroid injections can be administered, sometimes even at your initial consultation, and these can be repeated if they prove effective.

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.

When you come to the Beardwood for your initial consultation, your consultant will take a detailed medical history of your entire upper limb, as well as asking about your symptoms. They will want to know:

  • What symptoms have you been experiencing?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Are you in pain? If so, can you describe the pain? Is it a stabbing or a radiating pain?
  • Which is your dominant hand?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What treatment have you had so far?
  • Do you have any ongoing medical issues? Are you on any medication?

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.

By choosing to have your treatment with us at The Beardwood, you’ll be able to take advantage of all these benefits:

  • Assessments ASAP – When your quality of life has been affected by the amount of pain your shoulder or elbow is causing, you’ll want a diagnosis quickly and without delay. By seeing patients rapidly, our consultants can get you started on the right course of treatment as soon as possible.
  • Patient Satisfaction – 98.1% of other patients in 2019 said they would happily recommend the Beardwood Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 98.6% also said that the quality of care here at Beardwood Hospital was either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. We aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible, and these results highlight our continued efforts to ensure this is achieved.
  • Personalised care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you.
  • A Multidisciplinary Approach – Our teams at The Beardwood work in tandem with each other to provide you with the full array of treatments and the best possible care from start to finish. Working closely with physiotherapists, as well as a dedicated team of radiographers, anaesthetists, and nurses, you have support from medical professionals every step of the way during your treatment.
  • Convenient appointments – With appointments available between 8am and 8pm Monday-Sunday, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.
  • Free Parking – We know that parking should be the least of your worries when attending hospital, so to make life easier our car park is free of charge. In order to validate your parking, all you need to do is register your details with us at reception when you arrive.

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.

Specialists Offering Shoulder & elbow surgery

Mr Kevin Sharpe

Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon

MB ChB, FRSC Ed, FRCS Ed (Trauma and Orthopaedics)

BMI The Beardwood Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Gareth Howell

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mb ChB, FRCS (Tr & Orth)

BMI The Beardwood Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Fizan Younis

Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBCh FRCS(Tr & Orth), European Diploma of Hand Surgery

BMI The Beardwood Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Makaram Srinivasan

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBBS, MS (Orth), DNB (Orth), FRCS, M.Ch (Orth)

BMI The Highfield Hospital 2 more BMI The Beardwood Hospital BMI The Lancaster Hospital

View profile Book online

Mr Saif Hadi

Consultant Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon

FRCS Tr & Orth, FRCS Ed, BMBCh, MA Oxon, BA Hons Oxon, MFSTEd

BMI The Beardwood Hospital

View profile Book online

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