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The Bone & Joint Clinic
Spire South Bank Hospital, Worcester

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Common Shoulder Conditions

  • The Shoulder Clinic, Spire South Bank Hospital, Worcester

    The Shoulder

    The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. Movement of the shoulder occurs between the ball and socket but also between the shoulder blade and the chest wall (scapulothoracic joint).

    The ball and socket joint is designed to give a large range of movement to allow you to move your arm and hand. It has a large ball (head of humerus) and a smaller, shallow socket (glenoid). The advantage of this design is that a very large range of movement at the shoulder is possible, the disadvantage however is that the shoulder can become unstable.

    Shoulder stability is controlled by both static (still) and dynamic (moving) factors. The dynamic factors are the muscles around the shoulder, which when in perfect balance greatly help to maintain the stability of the ball and socket joint and prevent dislocation.

    The important static factors are: 

    • the ligaments around the shoulder which help hold the bones together
    • the rim of cartilage which helps deepen the socket called the glenoid labrum
    • the bones of the ball and socket joint itself

    Common Shoulder Conditions include:


    Anterior Stabilisation (Shoulder dislocation)

    The aim of the operation is to repair the damage to the structural stabilisers of the shoulder. This involves repair of the damaged rim of cartilage and tightening or repair of the over-stretched and damaged ligaments.

    This operation may be done either as an open procedure, where a cut is made over the shoulder or with a keyhole (arthroscopic) technique where smaller cuts are made.

    The operation is often performed under a light anaesthetic with a regional nerve block, as a day case. Occasionally you may need to stay in hospital overnight.

    Restoring the normal anatomy of the shoulder is the most effective way of preventing recurrent instability and improving function. Restoring the anatomy primarily means repairing the torn labrum back to the rim of the glenoid. This is called a Bankart Repair.

    Read more about anterior stabilisation
  • Rotator Cuff Repair

    This can be arthroscopic or open repair of the four shoulder tendons that make up the rotator cuff which stabilise the ball part of the joint (humeral head) in the socket (glenoid fossa).  It involves attaching the tendon back to the humerus with the use of anchors.  The goal of these procedures is to minimize pain, restore strength and functionality.

    Read more about rotator cuff repair
  • Shoulder Manipulation under Anaesthetic

    The surgeon will move the shoulder and stretch the passive structures of the shoulder (most noticeably the joint capsule) to restore range of movement usually if the shoulder is stiff or ‘frozen’.  This is done under anaesthetic and is often combined with a joint injection of steroid to settle any residual inflammation down following the procedure.

    Read more about shoulder manipulation under anaesthetic
  • Shoulder Replacement/Resurfacing

    This is also known as shoulder arthroplasty. With loss of cartilage the patient will suffer pain as a result of arthritis. The aim of shoulder replacement surgery is to reduce pain rather than restore movement.  Total shoulder replacement involves a replacement of the ball and socket joint. A metal ball is used to replace the humeral head (ball) and a plastic socket replaces the cartilage on the glenoid cavity.

    Read more about shoulder replacement/resurfacing
  • Shoulder Subacromial Decompression

    This is usually done arthroscopically or ‘keyhole’.  Some of the top part of the shoulder socket – the acromion – is removed to allow more space between the humeral head (ball part of the joint) and the superior aspect of the socket.  This is a common procedure used for Subacromial Impingement of the rotator cuff tendons.

    Read more about shoulder subacromial decompression

Problem with your shoulder?

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01905 362 212



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