Eight Things You Need To Know About Shoulder Surgery

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Shoulder surgery can be the solution to all sorts of shoulder problems related to the surrounding muscles, known as the rotator cuff, or the shoulder joint itself.  Appropriate shoulder pain treatment such as shoulder surgery is usually determined following assessment by an orthopaedic surgeon. That assessment will include a detailed medical history, a thorough physical examination and investigations such as X-rays and ultrasound. 

As with any other types of surgery, the level of success depends on several factors, including your age, level of fitness and cause of your shoulder pain.


What should I know about shoulder surgery?

1. Your shoulder has a wide range of possible movements, making it the most flexible joint in your body. However, arthritis, frozen shoulder and rotator cuff tears can have a massive impact on that range of movement, either because of pain, or obstruction of movement, or a combination of both. 

2. The ideal procedure for the treatment of rotator cuff tears depends on the extent of your injury and where it is located on your shoulder. Rotator cuff tears may be surgically treated by a form of keyhole surgery known as arthroscopy. Another option is the open repair, in which the surgeon detaches the large deltoid muscle over the shoulder in order to get a better access to the rotator cuff.  

3. Frozen shoulder occurs when the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint becomes stiff, due to adhesions. Shoulder surgery for frozen shoulder may also be carried out by arthroscopy and entails the surgeon cutting through the adhesions that are found there. This procedure will also give the surgeon an opportunity to check for other problems such as bone spurs.

4. Bone spurs can from in any joint in the body, including the shoulder, and are caused by new growths of bone that form lumps where they shouldn't be. The spurs cause problems when they impact on nerves, obstruct movement of joints or rub against other tissues. Someone with a bone spur shoulder is likely to experience symptoms such as stiffness and pain, numbness and pins and needles. Surgery involves shaving away the bony lump and opening up the joint space.

5. Arthritis of the shoulder can be treated with a total shoulder replacement. Shoulder replacement is generally recommended for those people who have severe shoulder pain and restricted shoulder movement. The procedure involves removing the damaged part of the shoulder and replacing them with artificial components, just as in hip or knee replacement surgery.

6. Immediately following any type of shoulder surgery, you will need to wear a sling to immobilise your shoulder joint. The length of time you will have to keep the sling on will depend on the type of shoulder surgery you had. 

7. Until your shoulder is healed, you may have to change your sleeping position to avoid lying flat, on your side or on your stomach.

8. Rehabilitation is essential. You will be given exercises to follow and these will help strengthen your muscles, reduce stiffness and swelling and will get you back to fitness in the shortest possible time.


About Ramsay Health Care

At Ramsay Health Care we are proud to work in partnership with some of the highest qualified and experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists in the UK. Our holistic care offers you the best treatment!

At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment or for your surgery. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Private Patient Pledge offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.

Please contact us for more information.

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