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Shoulder & elbow surgery

Expert care for shoulder and elbow problems

We use our shoulders and elbows thousands of times every day as we go about our normal activities and tasks. Any damage to the upper limb can make everyday life far more challenging, often surprisingly quickly. It is extremely hard to function without a working upper limb.

Pain, stiffness, weakness or numbness in your shoulder, elbow or your arm all have the potential to impact on your quality of life. From brushing your teeth to getting dressed or making a cup of tea, you may be shocked by how many things you’re no longer able to do as easily.

It can be a relief to know that good treatments are available for a wide range of shoulder and elbow problems. Here at The Shirley Oaks Hospital, experienced Consultant Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons help get people out of pain and back to better function and mobility in their upper limb again. They would be delighted to help you too.

Given the complexity of both the shoulder and elbow, it’s not surprising that they are susceptible to a range of problems.

Shoulder and elbow pain are usually caused by:

  • Acute trauma – for example, a car accident, sports injury or nasty fall
  • Chronic trauma - injury from a repetitive movement
  • Inflammation
  • Wear and tear - as we age

Common reasons people choose to visit a Consultant Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon at Shirley Oaks include:

  • Pain and inflammation in the shoulder
  • Pain running down the outside or inside of the elbow
  • Pain on the outside of the shoulder
  • Pain at either end of the collarbone
  • Pain when lifting the arm above the head
  • A ‘clicking’ sensation in the shoulder
  • Problems sleeping due to severe shoulder pain

Many longer-term (chronic) issues can be hard to notice at first. Symptoms like pain and stiffness are usually fairly mild in the early stages, but as any problem develops so the symptoms tend to get worse.

Shoulder and elbow pain can affect anyone, at any age. As we get older, we are more likely to experience degenerative problems such as arthritis, but these can also occur in younger patients.

When your symptoms interfere with your daily life, you’ll want to get help, fast. At Shirley Oaks, your Consultant will make sure you receive a quick diagnosis and are able to get started with appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

With four main joints in your shoulder, and important nerves running through your elbow to your hand and wrist, it’s no surprise that issues can arise easily. Some of the common complaints and conditions seen by the Consultants include:

  • Arthritis – the most common type to affect the shoulder and elbow is osteoarthritis. It is an irreversible condition and will usually require joint replacement surgery when more advanced. There are treatments available for early arthritis to improve your quality of life, so you do not have to be in pain.
  • Frozen shoulder – tends to be common in people with diabetes
  • Rotator cuff injury/tendon tear
  • Tennis Elbow - caused by repetitive twisting motions
  • Golfer’s Elbow - caused by repetitive gripping motions
  • Recurrent shoulder dislocation – a shoulder that has dislocated once is more likely to dislocate again in the future
  • Tendonitis - inflammation of a tendon
  • Bursitis - inflammation of a fluid-filled sac (bursa) in your elbow or shoulder
  • Bicep tendon rupture

Whatever problem you’re experiencing, our experienced Consultant Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons can help get you out of pain and back to using your shoulder and elbow fully and safely once again.

When you first meet with your Consultant, they will ask you about your symptoms. They will want to know:

  • What specific symptoms you have?
  • How long have you had these symptoms?
  • What job you do?
  • Whether these symptoms have been getting worse over time?
  • Whether any movements or activities cause your symptoms to flare up?
  • Whether you have any corresponding numbness in your hand or wrist?
  • Was there was an obvious trigger for your symptoms, such as a fall onto an arm or a hard tackle while playing rugby?
  • What treatments (if any) you’ve tried so far, and did they help?

They will take a clinical history and carry out a physical examination of the affected area.

Your Consultant may arrange for you to have an X-ray to help show any obvious abnormalities in the joint. This may be all that is needed to make a diagnosis, but sometimes they may also request an ultrasound or MRI scan, especially if they suspect you may have a tendon tear as these scans show soft tissue in much clearer details. All of these investigations are available on-site at Shirley Oaks. We have a team of dedicated Musculoskeletal Radiologists supporting the department.

Once the results of any tests are back, your Consultant will discuss the results with you and talk through suitable treatment options with you.

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.

Some people are referred to us by their GP, physiotherapist, sports physiotherapist or a consultant in another speciality. Others are pointed in our direction by friends or family members who we’ve helped previously.

Many of our patients are from Croydon and the surrounding areas, but others travel from further afield to visit with us, particularly for an outpatient injection for Tennis elbow.

We treat patients with private medical insurance and those who choose to self-pay. When you visit The Shirley Oaks Hospital, you’ll benefit from:

  • Fast access to an Upper Limb specialist –When you have any kind of problem with your shoulder or elbow, it can have a big impact on your ability to function. We can arrange for you to see one of the top Upper Limb Consultants in the region quickly, which means you’ll be treated and back on the road to recovery sooner. As well as shoulder and elbow treatment, we take pride in treating simple to complex hand and wrist injuries, including sports injuries and degenerative conditions of the hand. We provide a range of treatment, from non-surgical through to wide awake a joint replacement surgery of the hand and wrist.
  • Convenient appointments – Our Consultants offer appointments throughout the week. We’ll help you schedule an appointment that’s most convenient to you.
  • Support from an experienced team – Your Consultant is supported in their work by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, radiologists, occupational therapists hand therapists and nurses. With state-of-the-art care from a wider team, you will always receive optimal treatment for your specific needs.
  • Patient Satisfaction – In an independent survey, 97.6% of people we treated said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their friends and family. Our focus is on making your time with us as comfortable, efficient and helpful as possible, getting you out of pain and back to better movement, strength and function in your shoulder and elbow as soon as possible.
  • Free Parking – Parking should be the least of your concerns when attending hospital. Our on-site car park has 100 spaces, so you won’t have to worry about where to park when you visit for your appointment.

If you’re struggling with any type of problem in your shoulder or elbow, it’s good to know that help is available. Your Consultant at The Shirley Oaks Hospital will organise the necessary diagnostic tests to investigate your symptoms, outline all treatment options for you and arrange treatment for you at the earliest opportunity.

For peace of mind and expert care, please contact us to book an appointment now. We really look forward to helping you.

Specialists offering Shoulder & elbow surgery

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Mr Arvind Mohan

Consultant Orthopaedic & Upper Limb Surgeon

MBBS, MS(Ortho), DipSEM(UK), FRCS (Tr & Ortho)

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Mr Mark Jeffery

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon/Shoulder and Upper Limb Specialist

MBBS(Lond) FRCS (Eng) FRCS (Tr & Orth)

The Blackheath Hospital 2 more Shirley Oaks Hospital The Sloane Hospital

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Mr Laszlo Zolczer

Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon

MD, FRCS (eqv)

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Dr Michael Kotrba

Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon

MD, BSc Hons, FA f. Orth (D)

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Mr Ravi Mallina

Consultant Hand and Wrist Surgeon

Dip Hand Surg(Br), FRCS

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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Dr Rizwan Rajak

Consultant Rheumatologist

MBBCh (Hons), MRCP, MRCP(Rheum), LLM

Shirley Oaks Hospital

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