Circle Reading's shoulder and elbow surgery unit delivers the very best clinical care for patients by combining the expertise and experience of leading orthopaedic consultants with the latest diagnostic technology.
Our consultants are able to request a range of diagnostic techniques to complement their expert clinical assessment, to ensure the very best options are taken at every stage of your injury process.
Our diagnostic imaging department is supported by our radiology consultants who provide additional expertise when specialist diagnostics are needed or where more detailed radiology reporting is required.
Our holistic approach to shoulder and elbow surgery means that our patients are fully supported pre- and post-operation by our musculoskeletal physiotherapy department. The close working relationship between our surgeons and physiotherapists, as well as the state of the art rehabilitation equipment we have invested in, ensures that you’ll experience the most rapid return to activities of daily living and sports that can be achieved.
For degenerative conditions of the shoulder and elbow joint, a joint replacement operation (arthroplasty procedure) may be warranted. Should this be the case, the type of replacement (prosthesis) can be altered depending on whether there is extensive damage to the supporting muscles and tendons.
Surgical techniques for acute injuries may involve the strengthening and tightening of soft tissue such as joint capsules, ligaments and tendons. This can be done through suturing, and in some cases grafting, new soft tissue to the relevant area.
Shoulder and elbow surgery may be directed to treat acute injuries or degenerative conditions of these joints, depending on the individual circumstances. Some operations such as joint replacement procedures will require a normal surgical incision, but most shoulder and elbow surgical techniques are now performed via keyhole technique (arthroscopy).
At Circle Health we understand that every injury is unique, and our consultants will offer you the range of non-surgical and surgical options that best fit your individual circumstances.
At your initial consultation, our expert shoulder and elbow surgeon will spend time understanding the exact history of your condition. For example, if you have had a specific injury to your shoulder, your consultant will talk through how the jnjury occurred, what forces were applied to the shoulder or elbow, and how your symptoms have changed since the initial injury.
Associated symptoms, such as instability to the shoulder or significant weakness to the shoulder or elbow, can give an indication as to what structures may have been damaged during the injury.
If there has been an onset of symptoms with no identifiable injury, a detailed examination of any activities of daily living or sports that may have contributed to shoulder pain is often helpful in determining the diagnosis.
An in-depth examination will be conducted to help create a list of possible diagnoses by specifically testing each structure in the shoulder and elbow. This may entail a number of specialist techniques including:
- Range of motion tests
- Strength tests
- Palpation (feeling the tissues under the skin to assess for pain)
- Joint glides to assess for ligament tears
State-of-the-art diagnostics available for you
Diagnostic tests may be requested and examined by your orthopaedic specialist and, if needed, our radiology consultants. Common tests which are requested to verify shoulder and elbow diagnoses include:
- X-rays: a useful tool to exclude any fractures and to assess the degree of any degenerative arthritis to the shoulder or elbow joint. They can also be useful in planning certain types of surgical technique.
- CT scans: give a highly detailed three-dimensional view of the bones architecture which make up the joint. They can be useful in definitively excluding fractures when an X-ray may be unclear.
- MRI scans: the imaging modality of choice when inspecting soft tissue or cartilage, and can also be useful in observing inflammation in the joints and surrounding tissues.
- Ultrasound scans: may be requested when possible tendon tears and degenerative processes to tendons are suspected. They are particularly useful in certain cases as the joints can be imaged during movement.
The right treatment for you, always
You will always be given space and time to talk about how your symptoms have affected you. Your individual goals, whether non-sporting or sporting, will also be thoroughly discussed to determine the best possible management plan.
As well as offering the best possible surgical outcomes, our orthopaedic shoulder and elbow consultants are also able to refer for injection therapy and physiotherapist-led rehabilitation where required.
Research indicates that when the right treatment is delivered by experienced orthopaedic surgeons in a specialist environment and supported by other services, including radiology and physiotherapy, outcomes for patients improve.
Our shoulder and elbow services include:
- Expert assessment from an experienced consultant
- Diagnostic imaging with no waits
- Latest imaging techniques
- Leading surgical techniques available
- Leading musculoskeletal physiotherapists and rehabilitation equipment
- Communicative working environment to ensure all of our specialists work towards your goals
If you choose to have surgery:
Our pre-operative planning is organised around our patients, and we always clearly explain details of any planned orthopaedic surgery as well as what to expect following the surgery.
Our anaesthetic teams and specialist nursing staff are on hand prior to surgery to answer any questions and, following your operation, to monitor you as you wake from the anaesthetic.
These values ensure that the logistics around the operation are as free from stress for our patients as possible.
If you choose not to have surgery:
For patients who choose not to undergo an operation after consultation, we can still provide musculoskeletal physiotherapy to enable the rapid restoration of flexibility, strength and endurance needed to minimise the problem as much as possible.
Post-operative physiotherapy is delivered by our experienced team who work closely with Circle’s orthopaedic shoulder and elbow surgeons to increase the workload on your operated joint as soon as is safe.
Our state-of-the-art exercise facilities and rehabilitation equipment ensures that you will reach your goals in the best timeframes, in the safest possible way.
Not only is the clinical care for our shoulder and elbow surgery second to none, your treatment will be conducted in a modern, clean facility which you will feel comfortable in throughout your treatment.
To arrange your consultation with an experienced shoulder and elbow surgeon, contact our friendly team today who will be delighted to help.