Shoulder Problems

Shoulder Arthritis

Most patients with severe pain and stiffness from arthritis need a shoulder replacement. Our Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Wijeratna has performed three times as many shoulder replacements when compared to the average surgeon in the UK over the past 3 years. You can feel confident knowing that you will be in good hands!

There are two basic types of shoulder replacement, the “reverse” shoulder replacement and the “anatomic” shoulder replacement. The videos below show the difference between these two approaches:

A “Reverse” shoulder replacement”

An “Anatomic” shoulder replacement

Mr Malin Wijeratna – 36 month Practice Profile

Data for 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2022

Shoulder Arthritis - 36 month Practice Profile


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Arthritis of the shoulder is a condition where the smooth protective cartilage covering the surface of the ball and socket of the shoulder joint have worn away. In the early stages of arthritis, the pain is due to inflammation. In the later stages, when the cartilage is completely worn away, most of the pain comes from the raw bones rubbing against each other.

  • The main symptoms of shoulder arthritis are gradual and progressive. Pain is initially felt on certain movements and then more constantly. Pain is often felt at night when trying to sleep. The shoulder also becomes stiffer with time. Most patients are able to cope with the symptoms until they start interfering with quality of life and function on a daily basis.

  • Shoulder arthritis is usually a clinical diagnosis which a specialist makes after taking a history and performing a clinical examination. An x-ray of the shoulder is needed to see the severity of the arthritis.

  • No. Symptoms of pain in the early stages may fluctuate but gradually pain and stiffness get worse with time.

  • Do keep an upright posture and your shoulders gently back.

    Do move your shoulder – keeping it still will make the pain worse.

    Don’t make up your own strenuous exercises – for example, gym equipment can make the pain worse.

    Don’t slouch when sitting – do not roll your shoulders and bring your neck forward.

  • Treatment without surgery should always be the first consideration as this is often very effective in controlling symptoms. This consists of pain killing tablets, anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy. An anti-inflammatory steroid injection into the joint can be useful in the early stages of arthritis but has not been shown to be effective in later stages of arthritis. When the symptoms of arthritis interfere with quality of life, sleep and daily activities it is time to consider a shoulder replacement.

    Shoulder replacement surgery is a very effective treatment for shoulder arthritis. The operation removes the worn-out joint surfaces and replaces them with a combination of metal and plastic surfaces. This operation is extremely successful in controlling pain and improving the function of the shoulder and the whole arm.

  • Shoulder replacement surgery is an in-patient procedure performed under a regional anaesthetic nerve block which numbs the whole arm. The patient is awake (but sedated) for the duration of the procedure which enables them to recover quicker after surgery. Painkillers are prescribed for when the nerve block wears off. The patient visits their GP 10 days after surgery for a wound inspection and regular physiotherapy visits are booked. The arm is in a sling for 4-6 weeks and gentle exercises are allowed to start. Mr Wijeratna sees patients in clinic 6 weeks after surgery and only needs to see them again annually after that.

Here is a case study as seen on BBC News

‘Malin Wijeratna is an excellent surgeon. I had severe osteoarthritis in both shoulders and he carried out a complete shoulder replacement a year ago. He was excellent in explaining the procedure and the execution of the operation was brilliant. I have had exceptional results and am now able to move my left arm incredibly well and with no pain whatsoever. In essence, this procedure has changed my life¡ I would strongly recommend him to you and to be absolutely confident that his expertise will give you a considerably better quality of life. Thank you Malin Wijeratna for being truly brilliant.’

Patient feedback

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