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Shoulder and elbow surgery in Bedford

Expert care for shoulder and elbow problems

We rely on our shoulders and elbows for many of our normal routines and activities. From washing our hands, getting dressed or carrying bags of shopping in from the car, our shoulders and elbows make these things possible. 

As a result, any type of damage to the elbow or shoulder – whether by injury or disease - can affect how well we can do many of these tasks.

If you are worried or have any concerns about a problem in your shoulder or elbow, you may like to see a doctor for help and advice. The Consultant Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons at The Manor Hospital treat a wide range of disorders and diseases of the shoulder and elbow, helping to get people out of pain and back to better movement and function in their arm again. They would be delighted to help you too.

Shoulder and elbow problems can be categorised as:

  • Acute trauma – for example, a fall off a ladder onto the shoulder that causes a dislocation
  • Chronic trauma - injury to the joint over a longer-term, caused by a repetitive movement or overuse
  • Inflammation
  • ‘Wear and tear’ degeneration

A problem in an elbow or shoulder will often cause certain symptoms. Some of the common reasons people come to us for help are:

  • Pain and/or inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Instability or dislocations
  • Pain at the end of the collarbone (clavicle)
  • ‘Pops’ or ‘clicks’ when moving the arm

It can be easy to ignore mild symptoms in the shoulder and elbow, with many people dismissing them as a natural part of the ageing process. It’s often only when symptoms start limiting arm movement that they realise they need medical help.

Shoulder and elbow problem can affect people at any age. Degenerative problems tend to become more common as we age, but younger people also suffer from these problems.

When your symptoms are particularly severe or are interfering with daily life, you will appreciate being able to get expert help, quickly. At The Manor Hospital you can see an experienced Consultant for assessment, diagnosis and treatment, sooner.

The shoulder and elbow are incredibly complex but are also prone to damage and injury. Some of the problems that commonly affect them include:

  • Osteoarthritis – causes pain and stiffness. Non-surgical treatments are often helpful in the earlier stages, but joint replacement surgery may be required in more severe cases.
  • Frozen shoulder causes pain and stiffness in the shoulder.
  • Rotator cuff injury/tendon tear – the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that help keep the shoulder in position. A tear will cause pain in the shoulder, usually more obvious when the arm is moved away from the body.
  • Tennis Elbow results from overuse of the muscles involved in twisting motions.
  • Golfer’s Elbow – results from overuse of the muscles involved in gripping movements.
  • Shoulder dislocation – common in contact sports like rugby. Will often dislocate again in the future.
  • Bursitis - inflammation of a fluid-filled sac (bursa) in the elbow or shoulder.
  • Biceps tendon rupture – causes bruising and a sharp pain at the shoulder or elbow.
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome – results from compression to the ulnar nerve as it passes along the elbow. Most commonly causes pain and tingling or numbness in the forearm.
  • Sports injuries

Whatever symptoms you have in your shoulder or elbow, our experienced Consultant Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons can make sure you get the right treatment for it, as soon as possible.

When you first meet with your Consultant here at The Manor Hospital, they will take a clinical history and ask you about your symptoms. They will want to know:

  • What symptoms you have
  • How long you’ve had the symptoms
  • What your job is
  • Whether anything makes your symptoms worse
  • Whether you’ve received any type of treatment already, such as pain relief medication or physiotherapy

They will carry out a physical examination of your arm.

While this may be all that is needed to make a diagnosis, shoulder and elbow conditions will often require additional investigation. This will usually be an X-ray of the shoulder or elbow, which can help to show obvious abnormalities in the bony structures. For conditions where soft tissue damage is possible, such as a rotator cuff tear, an ultrasound or MRI scan may be preferred.

Some of these tests can be carried out on-site, while others will be arranged for you at an external site.

Once any results are back, your Consultant will discuss the results and treatment options with you.

Many shoulder and elbow conditions can be treated without surgery. Non-surgical (conservative) treatments may include:

  • Physiotherapy and exercise programmes
  • Pain relief medication (analgesia)
  • Steroid injections

If these don’t relieve your symptoms sufficiently, surgery may be needed.

Rotator cuff tears will usually need surgery to repair, and this is usually done by keyhole surgery.

A frozen shoulder progresses will eventually resolve itself, but this can take a while. Conservative treatments like physiotherapy and joint injections can be helpful, although some people may not respond to these treatments. For more severe cases, a keyhole surgical release may be an option to relieve your symptoms.

Advanced osteoarthritis usually causes nasty pain and severe stiffness in the shoulder and will often make shoulder movement almost impossible. Shoulder replacement surgery can be done to replace the worn, damaged joint with a new artificial shoulder joint (prosthesis).

Severe Elbow arthritis causing significant restriction of elbow movement and pain could be helped by an elbow replacement surgery.

If you need any type of shoulder or elbow surgery, your Consultant will explain it to you and talk you through any risks or complications you need to be aware of. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be very happy to discuss these with you.

Many people are referred to us by their GP, physiotherapist, osteopath or private medical insurance provider. Others visit because a friend or family member has recommended us.

We treat private medical insurance and self-pay patients, and you can self-refer to avoid delay.

At The Manor Hospital, you will benefit from:

  • Fast assessment – You won’t have to wait weeks (or even possibly months) for help! We can arrange an appointment for you quickly. Earlier assessment meant that you will enjoy the benefits of any treatment sooner.
  • An experienced (and friendly!) team – Your Consultant is aided in their work by a wide range of other healthcare professionals, including radiologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses. With fast access to any member of this multidisciplinary team, you will always see the most appropriate specialists at every stage of your treatment journey.
  • We’re (highly) recommended by patients – In an independent survey, 99.1% of people we treated said they were likely or highly likely to recommend us to their friends and family.

If you’re concerned at all by a shoulder or elbow problem, why not book your appointment today?

We look forward to welcoming you to The Manor Hospital soon.

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