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At Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, we’re proud to offer our patients the highest standards of shoulder care.

Why choose Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital for shoulder replacement surgery?

At Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, we treat every patient as an individual, offering exactly the right care for you.

Your experienced orthopaedic consultant here in Bristol will support and guide you from your initial consultation through to your full recovery. You'll stay in your own private room with en-suite facilities during your time in hospital. Free on-site parking is also available, so it's easy for family and friends to visit.

Enhanced recovery plan

Recovery from your shoulder replacement operation will require support so, as part of your treatment package, you'll have sessions with a Nuffield Health physiotherapist at our local Nuffield Health gym through our recovery plus programme.


Meet the team

Our shoulder surgeons are highly experienced and will look after you throughout your treatment.

In addition to our skilled surgeons, our team includes radiologists, physiotherapists, highly trained nurses and pharmacists to ensure you receive the care you need at every stage of your journey with us.

Mr Neil Blewitt
Mr Iain Packham


Why might I need a shoulder replacement?

A common cause for shoulder replacement is arthritis.

If you've already tried more conservative treatments and your pain has not improved your consultant may recommend shoulder replacement.

What happens during shoulder replacement surgery?

Shoulder replacement is usually performed under general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 2 hours. Local anaesthetic may also be put into the joint to help with pain control following your surgery.

Your surgeon will make a cut on the front of your shoulder and remove the damaged ball (head of the humerus). They will replace the ball and sometimes also the socket (see figure 1). They may also make any necessary repairs to your rotator cuff tendons (tissue that attaches muscle to a bone). They will close your wound and a dressing may be applied. Your arm will be in a sling. Most patients stay in hospital 1 – 2 nights.

A physiotherapist will visit you before you leave hospital to show you gentle exercises. You will not be able to use your operated hand for up to 6 weeks following your surgery. Be sure and discuss any concerns you have about daily activities with our care team before you leave.

Going home after shoulder replacement

Your shoulder will be sore and swollen for several weeks. You should take any pain killers regularly to stay ahead of pain and help you get mobile. Use ice packs or a package of frozen peas wrapped in a towel to help reduce any swelling in your shoulder.

Keep your wound clean and dry until your follow-up appointment. Follow any instructions you are given regarding increasing your range of motion or decreasing the use of your sling.

Over the next few months you will work with a physiotherapist to progress to more vigorous exercise. It is important to keep up your exercises so that your shoulder does not become stiff.

Follow any instructions you are given regarding lift or reaching.

It can take up to 6 months to see significant improvement. Range of motion and strength in your shoulder will continue to improve for up to 2 years. 
With any surgical procedure there can be complications including:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the surgical site (incision) or joint
  • Scarring
  • Chest infection
  • Heart attack or stroke

Specific complications of shoulder replacement:

  • Nerve injury
  • Dislocation
  • Fracture of the upper arm
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Loosening of the joint.

Other shoulder treatments that our team of experts perform include:

  • Rotator cuff shoulder surgery
  • Shoulder decompression surgery
  • Shoulder manipulation
  • Shoulder stabilisation
Find out more about Shoulder replacement
Bristol Hospital

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Main Switchboard 0117 987 2727
Sales Enquiries 0117 906 4870
Radiology Department 0117 906 4878

Ways to pay

Nuffield Health promise

Our prices are all-inclusive. We will equal any comparable price. There are no time limits on your aftercare.

Paying for yourself

There are no hidden costs in our treatment prices. The price you see is the price you pay.

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Personal medical loan

Spread the cost of treatment with a 10 month interest free personal medical loan.

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Medical insurance

We work with you and your insurance provider to get you the treatment you need quickly

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