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Shoulder & elbow surgery

Solutions for your shoulder and elbow pain

Patients visiting our specialist orthopaedic consultants for shoulder concerns commonly present with varying forms of shoulder pain, usually experienced with movement of the joint. There are usually two common groups:

Younger patients:

  • Recurrent dislocations
  • Trauma/sports injuries

Older patients:

  • Rotator cuff tendon tears
  • Arthritis in the joints around the shoulder
  • Frozen Shoulder

These can present as shoulder pain, stiffness and/or weakness. An accurate diagnosis is needed, so that an appropriate treatment plan can be formulated. Our consultants are able to accurately assess your shoulder condition, provide advice and timely treatment.

Conditions affecting your elbow can be debilitating and can quickly affect your quality of life. Elbow conditions treated at Woodlands include:

  • Nerve-related issues such as entrapment (experienced as pain, weakness, and a tingling sensation)
  • Tennis Elbow (inflammation caused by overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons, felt around the outside of your elbow)
  • Golfer’s Elbow (inflammation caused by overuse of the forearm muscles and tendons, felt on the inside of your elbow)
  • Arthritis of the elbow (as a result of general wear & tear)

If you have any of these symptoms or conditions, our consultants at Woodlands have the ability to get you a rapid diagnosis, forming a personalised treatment plan to help manage your shoulder and/or elbow condition before it gets any worse.

Surgery often isn’t required to bring you relief, and your symptoms can be managed well with non-invasive measures. A personalised exercise and rehabilitation programme can be created for you by our dedicated physiotherapy team to help strengthen your shoulder or elbow and keep it mobile while you recover.

Steroid injections can be administered in the clinic to help relieve pain, either in your shoulder or elbow, and these can be repeated if they prove successful. Ultrasound guidance is available for added accuracy, allowing your consultant to administer the injection directly into the affected area to improve success rates.

Many patients coming to see us will already have had some form of treatment which has proved unsuccessful. If physiotherapy, steroid injections, and other painkillers haven’t helped to reduce your symptoms, surgery is the next likely option.

Shoulder dislocations and tendon tears can usually be repaired arthroscopically (keyhole surgery). This minimally-invasive procedure involves your consultant making a number of small incisions in your arm, inserting a camera to visualise the joint. Surgical instruments can then be introduced via the incisions to repair the damage. Rotator cuff injuries can often be treated in this way, although extensive tears and complex shoulder dislocations may require an open operation.

Severe cases of arthritis may benefit from a joint replacement. This form of surgery involves the damaged joint being removed during open surgery, replaced with an artificial joint. This surgery tends to have a period of recovery, but success rates are high, and you will be supported with a specialised physiotherapy regime throughout your rehabilitation.

Surgical solutions for elbow conditions usually include tendon releases to relieve you of any constant irritation. Most patients are able to recover from conditions like Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow with conservative treatments, but surgery can be considered for more serious cases. Your surgeon will make an incision near your elbow, and release part of the tendon from the bone, as well cleaning up any excess tissue or bone spurs.

Establishing a definitive diagnosis is the first vital step in managing your condition. At an initial consultation, your consultant will take a detailed medical history and will ask about the various symptoms you have been experiencing. They will want to know:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms become progressively worse?
  • Are you in pain? If so, can you describe this pain? Is it a stabbing pain or does it spread out?
  • Does anything cause your symptoms to flare up?

This is normally followed by a clinical examination, where your consultant will manipulate and move your affected arm, assessing the health and condition of the joints.

An X-ray is normally needed. Some patients come to us having already had scans, and your consultant will wish to see these, but scans can be provided on-site if not. Further scans may be required to confirm a diagnosis, such as an MRI or ultrasound, especially if your consultant needs to assess the soft structures in your arm (useful when looking for tendon tears).

With a full diagnosis confirmed, your management plan will be laid out clearly, and all treatment options outlined for you. Often, non-invasive treatment is enough to provide effective relief, in the form of steroid injections (which in some cases can be performed during this initial consultation) or a bespoke physiotherapy programme, catering to your specific needs. Your consultant can advise you if surgery is your best option for recovery.

Woodlands also offers ‘Prehab’ physiotherapy, providing mobility exercises and strengthening routines for your shoulder in order to help you best prepare for surgery. As well as helping to ensure you are in the best possible shape for surgery, this can greatly benefit the post-operative recovery period and contribute to overall success rates. The choice to proceed with surgery is entirely yours. Your consultant can help you weigh up the risks and benefits, based on expectations of success and your goals for recovery, arming you with all the relevant details to make an informed decision.

Choosing to have your shoulder & elbow treatment at Woodlands comes with a host of benefits, such as:

  • Assessments ASAP – Certain shoulder & elbow conditions are best treated at the earliest possible stage. If you’ve been experiencing any of the associated symptoms, our consultants can see you for an assessment without delay, getting you an accurate diagnosis rapidly and the necessary treatment before your symptoms progress any further.
  • Patient Satisfaction – 98.2% of other patients in 2019 said they would happily recommend Woodlands Hospital to friends and family in an independent report, and we’re confident that you’ll agree. 98.3% also said that the quality of care here at Woodlands 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.
  • One-Stop Shop – Some minor procedures can be done on the same day as your initial consultation, making Woodlands a ‘one-stop shop’ for certain treatments, such as steroid injections to relieve symptoms and ease your pain.
  • Personalised care – We believe in a bespoke approach to treatment, tailoring each experience to our patients’ needs and whatever may be best for you. This is regularly reviewed, ensuring you get the necessary treatment at every stage of your patient journey.
  • A Multidisciplinary Approach – Our teams at Woodlands work in tandem with each other to provide you with the best possible care from start to finish. Working closely with a dedicated physiotherapy team, alongside specialist musculoskeletal radiographers, anaesthetists, and nurses, you have support from medical professionals every step of the way during your treatment.
  • Convenient appointments – With appointments available between 10am and 8.30pm Monday-Saturday, you are sure to find an appointment slot that suits your needs and availability.

If pain in your shoulder or elbow has been concerning you, why not book a consultation with one of our orthopaedic specialists today?

Our consultants can outline all treatment options for you promptly, arranging any necessary diagnostic scans, treatment and surgery if required. For peace of mind and expert care, please contact Woodlands to book an appointment now.

Specialists Offering Shoulder & elbow surgery

Mr Sanjay Miranda

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon (Hand, upper limb & peripheral nerve)

MB. BS.(Newcastle-upon-Tyne); FRCS (Eng.); FRCS (Trauma & Orthopaedics); Diploma in Hand Surgery (Univ Manchester)

BMI Woodlands Hospital

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Mr Raymond Liow

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

FRCS(Tr&orth), MBBS

BMI Woodlands Hospital

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