Shoulder Arthritis

The shoulder is one of the body’s most mobile joints. Shoulder arthritis can cause pain and stiffness and reduce its range of motion. Arthritis isn’t just painful; it can limit your ability to live life to the full. The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers a range of treatments, from leading experts, to ease discomfort, restore shoulder movement and improve your quality of life.

Physiotherapy, anti-inflammatories and specialist physiotherapy can provide relief for shoulder arthritis. If conservative measures have not helped, the expert orthopaedic surgeons can operate in the London Orthopaedic Clinic’s state-of-the-art operating theatres and support your healthy rehabilitation.

What is arthritis in the shoulder?

Age, injury and inflammation can cause arthritis, leading to pain, swelling and stiffness in the shoulder. Most shoulder arthritis is a result of wear and tear, known as osteoarthritis. However, inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can also cause problems in the shoulder.

In a healthy shoulder, the surfaces of the ball and socket are covered with cartilage, which allows the bones to move smoothly over each other and acts as a shock absorber. In osteoarthritis, this cartilage degenerates, becoming thin, rough and uneven. The fluid-filled space in the joint gets smaller and bone rubs against bone, which is uncomfortable and can lead to bony lumps or spurs forming.

Rotator cuff arthropathy is a specific type of shoulder arthritis, in which there is severe arthritis and a large tear in the rotator cuff muscles that stabilise the shoulder joint.

Symptoms of shoulder arthritis

Shoulder arthritis causes pain, stiffness and clicking or cracking during movement. The pain can be located on the side, front or back of the shoulder and may radiate into the neck or arm.

In the early stages the pain may come on when using the arm, especially when lifting heavy objects or raising the limb. The pain can progress over time, until the shoulder is painful even at rest. Shoulder arthritis can make it difficult to dress, brush your hair or do up a seatbelt.

How can the London Orthopaedic Clinic help with shoulder arthritis?

The specialist orthopaedic surgeons at the London Orthopaedic Clinic can make a thorough assessment of your shoulder and the effect your symptoms have on your life. They will arrange investigation by X-ray, MRI or ultrasound in the cutting-edge imaging suite. This will provide more detailed information about the joint, so they can tailor a treatment programme for your needs. This can include:


Why choose the London Orthopaedic Clinic?

The London Orthopaedic Clinic provides high-quality, expert orthopaedic and musculoskeletal care, tailored to the individual needs of our patients. The Clinic is based at Mayo Clinic Healthcare, at the heart of London’s internationally renowned Harley Street medical district. The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers cutting-edge diagnostics, treatment, management and personalised care.

The expert multi-disciplinary team includes more than 25 leading orthopaedic surgeons, pain management consultants, rheumatologists, allied specialists and radiologists. They work together to reduce pain, improve movement and make a real difference to patients’ lives.

The London Orthopaedic Clinic offers patients something truly unique: access to world-leading experts, high-tech imaging and the latest innovative treatments, together with the feeling of trust and safety of a small family practice.

Shoulder arthritis treatment costs

The investigation and treatment of shoulder arthritis at the London Orthopaedic Clinic may be covered by your health insurance policy. Competitive packages are also available for patients who are self-paying. Contact a member of our friendly team on 020 7186 1000 or at to find out more.