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Surgery for Common Shoulder Problems James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership

Shoulder pain and loss of shoulder function are very common, with four percent of the population visiting their GP each year and 50 percent still reporting pain and disability after six months.

More and more patients are now referred to secondary care - hospital specialists - for surgical treatments. There is much that is still unknown about which patients with common shoulder problems are best treated with surgery, at what stage this surgery is best advised, and how best to ensure a good and rapid recovery. There are also uncertainties about which operations and techniques might be best, and when such operations should be considered over conservative treatment such as physiotherapy.

A James Lind Alliance (JLA) Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) has been conducted to explore the treatment uncertainties in 'Surgery for Common Shoulder Problems' - the clinical lead was Professor Jonathan Rees. This PSP started in March 2014 and completed in June 2015. It identified those shoulder treatment uncertainties that matter most to patients, carers and clinicians, and will help researchers to prioritise future research activity.


This national PSP was funded by the British Elbow and Shoulder Society, and the British Orthopaedic Association. It used a James Lind Alliance priority setting process and was supported by and based in the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Unit and NIHR Oxford Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Centre.

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