Your shoulder joint is where your upper arm bone, shoulder blade and collarbone meet. Ligaments, muscles, tendons, cartilage, bursa and nerves are the other tissues that make up your shoulder joint. Shoulder pain can be caused when you injure any of these tissues or they become worn due to osteoarthritis.
Shoulder surgery is used to repair a shoulder joint that is degenerated, diseased or damaged. It will restore the full use of your shoulder without pain.
Common shoulder problems include: rotator cuff tears, shoulder dislocations (the ball joint of your upper arm has popped out of the shoulder socket normally after a fall), and shoulder separations (disruption of the acromioclavicular joint on the top of the shoulder where the collarbone and shoulder blade come together).
At Duchy Hospital we provide rapid access to diagnosis and treatment of shoulder conditions. Our experienced shoulder surgeons work with specialist nurses, consultant radiologists and professional physiotherapists. We offer non-surgical treatments together with arthroscopic surgery, shoulder replacements and revision surgery.
The range of shoulder surgeries we offer
Rotator cuff surgery
A group of four muscles and tendons surround your shoulder joint to form your rotator cuff. They help to keep your shoulder joint stable and also with shoulder joint movement. Your rotator cuff can be injured when one or more of the muscles or tendons become inflamed or damaged and this causes pain.
Rest, painkillers and physiotherapy may be recommended at first for a rotator cuff tear or impingement (when the bone on top of your shoulder rubs against, or impinges on, the tendon and bursa causing irritation and pain). If these don’t work then rotator cuff surgery will be recommended. This involves either repairing the rotator cuff tear or removing the inflamed portion of the bursa and sometimes part of the bone on top of your shoulder to create more space for your joint to move freely.
Rotator cuff surgery might be performed using arthroscopy or open surgery.
Shoulder arthroscopy is keyhole surgery using an arthroscope. An arthroscope is a long, thin instrument that contains a small camera and light source. It’s inserted into your shoulder joint through an incision over or near the joint and the camera sends pictures of the inside of your shoulder joint to a screen viewed by your shoulder surgeon while performing surgery.
Your surgeon may recommend arthroscopic shoulder surgery for shoulder dislocations, rotator cuff problems, bone spur removal, the removal of inflamed tissue or loose cartilage and the repair of torn cartilage or ligaments.
Shoulder arthroscopy can be used diagnostically and to treat your condition if required. Small surgical instruments can be inserted into your shoulder joint at the same time, to repair or remove any damaged tissue and release tight tendons or ligaments.
Total shoulder replacement
Total shoulder replacement, also known as total shoulder arthroplasty and shoulder joint replacement, involves removing the arthritic or damaged head of your upper arm bone and its socket and replacing them with artificial components, called a prosthesis.
Your shoulder surgeon may recommend shoulder arthroplasty for degenerative diseases of the shoulder, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis or for some fractures of the shoulder joint.
If only part of your shoulder joint needs replacing, they might recommend a partial shoulder replacement, called a hemiarthroplasty.
The goal of total shoulder replacement is to restore the function of your shoulder and relieve pain. It is usually performed when medical treatment has not improved function in your shoulder joint.