Shoulder and elbow

Pain in the shoulder can be difficult to diagnose. Our specialists can offer you treatment for a range of conditions from tennis elbow, rotator cuff repair to shoulder replacement.
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Your guide to shoulder and elbow conditions and treatment

The shoulder and elbow joints are complex structures, with bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and many muscles working in tandem to give your upper body flexibility and you the flexibility and movement to position your hand in space.

Whether you’ve suffered a sports injury, have wear and tear (either age-related or from overuse) or are in pain following an accident, we can help. Our specialist experts cover the full range of upper-limb conditions, from rotator cuff tears to arthritis of the shoulder or elbow, giving you fast, accurate diagnosis and a range of personalised treatment options.

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Meet our shoulder and elbow experts

We're home to some of the leading shoulder and elbow consultants, dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and research of injuries and conditions affecting the upper limbs. They use 
market-leading diagnostic technology to help understand your symptoms, including high-grade imaging, with 3T MRI scanning and walk-in CT scanners. Our shoulder and elbow specialists work within a multidisciplinary team of highly trained nurses, consultant musculoskeletal radiologists and specialist upper limb physiotherapists, giving you the benefit of their combined expertise.

As well as a dedicated upper limb clinic at The Wilmslow Hospital in Cheshire, we offer a wide range of pioneering treatments, including keyhole (arthroscopic) surgery and reconstructive joint replacement, at each of our hospitals. So, whether you’re an injured cyclist, a professional athlete, or you’re suffering from debilitating arthritis, our expert team will aim to get you back to a full and pain-free life as quickly as possible.

Common shoulder and elbow conditions

Frozen shoulder

This is a painful condition, occurring when the capsule within the shoulder joint thickens and stiffens.  The cause is often unknown, but it can be more common in people with diabetes.

Rotator cuff tears

The most common cause of shoulder pain.  The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and their tendons which connect the shoulder blade to the upper arm.  A tear will often restrict mobility.

Tennis elbow

This is most commonly the result of overuse and repeated stress on the tendons in the elbow, from sport or physical work. Surgery is often a last resort when conservative measures have not been successful.

Common shoulder and elbow treatments

Rotator cuff repair

If your pain hasn’t improved using non-surgical treatments, or if you have a particularly large tear, then surgery could offer you the best option to regain strength in the shoulder.

Shoulder replacement

The shoulder has a large range of movement, but if the joint is damaged, it can become painful and stiff. Replacement surgery is an option when non-surgical treatment has not seen symptoms improve.

Elbow arthroscopy

This is a procedure in which a small camera (arthroscope) is inserted into your elbow joint using minimally invasive keyhole surgery. It’s used primarily to investigate and diagnose conditions.

Chris's fast track to recovery

Patient experiences

An Olympian effort: Chris' fast track to recovery

Chris’ steely determination to constantly exceed people’s expectations has worked for him so far. It brought him to the Olympics even after he was told by teachers that sport ‘wasn’t his area’ and he ‘wouldn’t amount to much’. So, when he was told the surgery he needed on his shoulder would likely make him unable to compete professionally in 2023, Chris dug deep into those reserves and hoped he could excel once more.

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Paying for your own treatment

We see patients who are self-funding their treatment as well as those with medical insurance policies.  We work with all the major private insurers, for example Bupa, AXA and many more. If you’re paying for your own healthcare and are considering shoulder or elbow treatments, we offer a guide to the payment options available.

How to book an appointment

Book your appointment

To book your HCA UK appointment with one of our shoulder and elbow experts, you can call or book online using our consultant finder. Remember to have your referral letter to hand. If you have private medical insurance, you’ll also need your membership number and authorisation code.  We’ll confirm your appointment on the phone or online. If you have any special requests we’ll get back to you, either by phone or email within 24 hours.