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Shoulder Arthritis

South Wales Shoulder and Elbow Clinic, Shoulder Arthritis

What is it?


Osteoarthritis is a gradual degeneration of the shoulder joint causing the smooth glossy surfaces of the joint to become worn away, resulting in rough and abrasive movement and swelling within the joint.


It is not as common as arthritis to the hips and knees but is no less troublesome.  For a long time it has been considered a ‘wear and tear’ phenomenon, but we now know that many factors are to blame.


Overuse in manual employment, injury and your genes are considered to contribute to the development of this condition.


Other types of generalized arthritis such as Rheumatoid disease also cause shoulder joint arthritis.



Osteoarthritis usually effects people over the age of 50 with pain and stiffness in the shoulder being the hallmarks of the condition.


In severe cases continuous dull aching pain, usually worse at night, together with progressive stiffness of the shoulder create significant discomfort and reduced function.



There is no cure for arthritis of the shoulder, but there are many treatment options available. Finding the right treatment, most people with arthritis are able to manage pain and stay active.


Initial treatment is usually aimed at modifying the activities which cause your pain, together with anti-inflammatory medication. If symptoms are not controlled using these methods then cortisone injections into the joint and structured physiotherapy rehabilitation can help.


Surgery is usually left to those patients that have exhausted all other options but remain symptomatic. Keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) can help reduce the pain by ‘tidying up’ the joint in mild to moderate cases but in severe cases joint replacement is needed to eliminate the pain and improve movement.


There are several different types of joint replacement and Mr Matthews would determine the correct choice for your type of arthritis.

Total Shoulder Resurfacing Replacement

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Private Practices

Spire Cardiff Hospital

Croescadarn Road



CF23 8XL

Appointments: 02920 731112

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Spire Cowbridge Clinic

The Health Centre



CF71 7DA

Appointments: 02920 731112

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Impartial, Independent Expertise for Justice
Tim Matthews, The Elbow Club
Tim Matthews, member of the British Orthopaedic Association
Tim Matthews member of British Elbow and Shoulder Society
Tim Matthews, RCS Advanced Surgical Standards
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