Day surgery shoulder operation gets Julie back in action

Years of pain and being unable to work, or do the things she loves, are now behind a Barnsley woman following day surgery joint replacement at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre. Now she plans to celebrate by walking her beloved dogs.

Julie Steventon had suffered from excruciating pain in her shoulders caused by osteoarthritis. “I struggled to sleep as, even when I could fall asleep, the pain would wake me,” she explained. “I could not wash, brush or style my own hair as I could not raise my arms, and I had to stop walking my four lovely dogs. I really missed walking them as not only are they characters but also the landscape around us is beautiful, with fields and nature reserves nearby.”

Mrs Steventon’s GP referred her for surgery and she elected to be treated at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre.

“The waiting times were significantly less,” she explained. “I was in within weeks but I was also impressed with the idea of getting a replacement as day surgery. I think you always feel better if you can sleep in your own bed, no matter how nice the hospital and the people in it.”

An MRI scan revealed that although the left shoulder scheduled for replacement was indeed damaged and in need of treatment, her other shoulder was significantly worse and needed immediate attention.

She said: “My consultant, Mr Ford Qureshi, was wonderful. He was thorough, kind and reassuring as well as being very professional.”

Mrs Steventon was also pleased with the centre: “It was very clean; everyone was very friendly and nothing was too much trouble for them. When the time comes for me to have my left shoulder joint replaced, I would be very happy to return to the centre for treatment.”

Her operation was carried out using a local anaesthetic, which works by temporarily blocking the way nerves carry pain signals to the brain, along with a sedative. This technique not only avoids potential complications from general anaesthetic but also enables some patients to leave hospital on the same day.

The procedure has been developed by a multi-disciplinary team at the centre to ensure the growing numbers of otherwise fit people needing shoulder replacement surgery receive the best quality treatment, while enabling them to recover at home. This reduces treatment times and the need for overnight stays, freeing up resources for other patients and minimising the risk of acquiring subsequent infections.

“Shoulder surgery has had a notorious reputation for substantial pain afterwards,” said Mr Qureshi, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the centre. “For patients who commit to playing their own part in preparing for the operation, and their recovery, this procedure offers a really promising approach. The shoulder prosthesis that I use has been designed in such a way to allow less surgical trauma and a quicker procedure with less blood loss.”

“The surgery is not for everyone. Patients undergoing the day-surgery pathway need to have good overall health and fitness, with no other medical or weight issues. They also need to have sufficient support at home to ensure they can be cared for after the operation.

“I am delighted that Mrs Steventon is looking forward to being able to live a pain-free life doing the things she loves.”