What are the alternatives to shoulder or elbow joint replacement?
Most people with arthritis of the shoulder or elbow joint will receive other treatments from either their GP, physiotherapist or a rheumatologist before they see a surgeon for a joint replacement. These include:
If these treatments don't relieve the pain then you may need surgery. However, a joint replacement won't always be the most suitable option. Other possible surgical treatments include:
- cleaning out the joint (debridement) to ease pain
- removal of the lining of the joint (synovectomy) if it's very inflamed (this isn’t usually carried out on the shoulder joint)
- removal of part of the bone (the radial head) at the elbow.