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Shoulder surgery

Fast diagnosis and expert care for shoulder problems.

Patients visit BMI The Ridgeway Hospital with a variety of conditions that affect the shoulder. 

Our shoulder clinic is an extremely busy one, with one of our key surgeons seeing up to 50 patients a week with shoulder-related issues. Today there are a range of non-surgical treatment options available for shoulder problems, including physiotherapy and injections. Surgery is not always the answer, and many patients are reassured by that fact. 

Within our clinic, there is sometimes an overlap with patients who experience neck pain, too. This can be linked to the shoulder – and often, patients may present with pain in their arm, which they believe stems from a shoulder issue. Sometimes though, they need to see a spinal surgeon, alongside our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, as the two work closely together.

You can experience problems with your shoulders at any age, with our Consultants seeing patients across a variety of age groups. This includes: 

Children, who may have experienced trauma.

Teenagers, who have flexible joints – such as ballet dancers and gymnasts, who may have problems with the stability of their shoulder 

Young adults, who have experienced a sports injury, such as those who have dislocated their shoulder, or the joint between their collar bone and their shoulder blade.

Adults who enjoy sports – including cyclists, jockeys and skiers – who may have experienced a fracture. Our surgeons also see patients who have reached middle age and therefore start to experience problems with their tendons, which can become inflamed or tear, due to general use or as a result of a specific injury, such as a fall. Other problems specific to the shoulder include frozen shoulder, which often occurs spontaneously and can cause pain and restricted movement of the shoulder(s). This is also a common problem in patients who are diabetic 

Elderly adults – who may run into other age-related problems,. Our consultants also see many elderly patients who have arthritis, and those patients may need a joint replacement. 

The symptoms our consultants most often see within the clinic at BMI The Ridgeway Hospital include: 

Pain, including night pain. Often, patients tell our surgeons they can manage with the pain during the day, but their sleep may be affected, due to intense aches and discomfort 

A restricted range of movements. For example, the patient is struggling to get dressed, perform their normal activities or play sports. 

Many patients we see may have been genetically predisposed to certain conditions. Eventually, parts of our body ultimately wear and may therefore result in us experiencing pain. 

There are several things patients can do to help themselves, though. For example, stooping over regularly – either at a standing desk or during other everyday tasks – will not help a shoulder-related condition. By being ‘well organised’ in the way you sit, you can improve any discomfort, although you cannot stop the passage of time. 

What happens during your shoulder surgery consultation at BMI The Ridgeway Hospital?


Consultations at our clinic generally last between 20 minutes to half an hour, which is usually plenty of time to allow our Consultant to formulate a clearer picture about the patient and their condition. 

During the consultation, you will be asked about your medical history, and your consultant will do a physical examination,  with a view to arriving at a diagnosis. 

X-ray facilities are available onsite and can be performed on the day of the consultation. It is rare that any tests would be needed which are not available at BMI The Ridgeway Hospital. 

MRI scans, CT scans and ultrasound can be performed here, too, although the patient generally has to wait a few days for an appointment for these.  

The range of treatments offered depends on the severity of the problem and how the patient would like to proceed. Generally, we can offer: 

  • Cortisone injections, which are commonly used in the shoulder to relieve pain and to settle inflammation 
  • Physiotherapy – BMI The Ridgeway has a team of specialty physiotherapists on hand, each of whom deals with shoulder problems regularly 
  • Surgery, such as a shoulder replacement 
  • Medication

Two of the most common non-surgical procedures we offer are:  

Manipulation of the shoulder


We can offer a procedure known as manipulation of the shoulder, performed for frozen shoulder, which is where the patient is put to sleep for as little as a minute or so. Our surgeon will then ‘stretch’ their shoulder while they are asleep, to stretch out any tightness.  

Injections for pain relief


An injection can be used, which may relieve any pain and is often used for those experiencing frozen shoulder. 

A lot of patients have pain that stops them sleeping or working, says our Consultant, and often, manipulation of the shoulder or an injection is enough to improve that.  

The aim of our consultant is always to cure the patient completely – and while the patient will still run the risk of getting a problem later in life, our surgeons can try to resolve any issues completely here at BMI The Ridgeway Hospital. 

Types of shoulder surgery

Arthroscopy keyhole procedure – this is another commonly performed surgical procedure at BMI The Ridgeway. During this procedure, our surgeon will ‘smooth down’ the bone, before stabilising the joint and repairing the tendons. 

The majority of arthroscopy patients will go home the very same day they have their operation, with one of our physiotherapists making an appointment to see them a few days later.  

During this follow-up appointment, the patient will be encouraged to begin moving their shoulder, with their progress being reviewed again three or four weeks later. 

Some procedures are better performed as ‘open surgery’. For example, our surgeons cannot perform a shoulder replacement as a keyhole procedure, which is due to the size of the components required. 

Shoulder Replacement surgery at BMI The Ridgeway Hospital in Swindon


Joint replacement is a longer and more complex procedure than an arthroscopy, and patients will normally need to stay overnight at the hospital.  

When replacing a shoulder joint, the original joint is often so worn that the structure of the joint will have changed quite a lot.  

Our surgeons can reconstruct a 3D picture of the joint using a CT scan, with a special software scanner helping them plan exactly where to place the necessary components and from what angle, for example. 

Using a piece of equipment called a navigation system, our surgeons can accurately guide the components into the correct place. 

Taking a conservative approach, our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon will perform only the procedures which have a track record of working. 

Patients choose BMI The Ridgeway Hospital for shoulder surgery for a variety of reasons, including: 


A long-established hospital – We are a reputable and long-established hospital, with a proven track record in delivering excellent patient care 


Good continuity of care – Patients can look forward to good continuity of care; they will see the same surgeon in clinic, from their consultation right through to any treatment needed, and the follow-up. Our surgeon relishes the chance to get to know the patients and see the end result, which he says is a fantastically educational way of working, and from this has gained the knowledge and experience of what does and does not work 


Reduced waiting times – Patients who visit BMI The Ridgeway Hospital can benefit from shorter waiting times and procedures are very rarely delayed or cancelled 


Flexible appointments – You can choose an appointment time to suit you and your schedule; in some cases, remote consultations will be offered, which minimises the time you need to spend in hospital. 


Consultant-led appointments – Your appointment will be consultant-led, and you will see the same person each time – from your consultation, right through to any treatment needed 


Patient satisfaction and personalised care – In a patient questionnaire survey, BMI The Ridgeway Hospital performed extremely well. Over 96% of patients said they were likely or extremely likely to recommend us to their friends and family, Meanwhile, 96.3% of patients said the quality of their care was very good, or excellent, and 94.7% of patients said their expectations were met or exceeded. 


To book a consultation at BMI The Ridgeway Hospital, you can use our handy online booking system to choose a time and date to suit you. 

Specialists offering Private shoulder surgery

Mr Peter Dacombe

Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon

BMedSci BMBS MSc FRCS

The Ridgeway Hospital

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Mr David Anthony Woods

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

BMed Sci, MB ChB, FRCS, FRCS(Orth)

The Ridgeway Hospital

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Dr Paul Jackson

Consultant in Sport & Exercise Medicine

FRCP FFSEM(UK) MBBS

Bath Clinic 1 more The Ridgeway Hospital

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