Woodlands HospitalMorton Park, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 4PL Directions
Mon-Sun: 10am-8.30pm. Due to COVID restrictions no visitors are currently allowed
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Solutions for your shoulder and elbow pain
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.