Huw David

Arthritis in the shoulder

Huw treats Arthritis in the shoulderArthritis of the shoulder joint (gleno-humeral joint) is commoner than many people think. After hip and knee, it is the next most commonly affected large joint in the body. Shoulder arthritis will often lead to pain and stiffness. Part of Huws’ role as a specialist is to distinguish between the painful limitation in  movement that may be seen, for example, with rotator cuff disease and the painful restriction in movement resulting from arthritis.

The shoulder is a type of ball and socket joint though the socket itself is relatively flat. Arthritis occasionally follows an injury such as a fracture or recurrent dislocations and is occasionally seen as a complication of other medical conditions. However, in the majority of individuals there is no obvious cause for arthritis developing other than advancing age.

The mainstay of treatment is pain relief and often patients will find regular medication helpful in this regard. Once tablets no longer prove effective, your own doctor will refer you to see Huw. Following a thorough examination including x-rays, Huw will be in a position to advise you as to the best treatment. This may involve an injection. If the arthritis is more advanced, you will probably be recommended to surgery. Broadly speaking, keyhole surgery does not play a role in the treatment of shoulder arthritis and Huw will discuss with you the differing types of shoulder replacement and be able to explain which one is most applicable for your condition. Huw has undertaken important, and internationally reported research on the differing types of shoulder replacement and has experience in all such procedures.

Arthritis in the shoulderThe acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) or collarbone is a very common site for arthritis to develop. Pain is typically localised over the top of the shoulder and individuals will be aware of pain when they reach up high or when they roll onto their side in bed. As with any type of arthritis it tends to be seen more commonly in older individuals, especially those who have been involved in physical work or sports. Again injection therapy may be effective in controlling symptoms but if surgery proves necessary, then keyhole techniques can be used very effectively to simply shave away a small segment of bone, just the few millimetres, in order to prevent the rubbing and therefore pain.