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  • Applications for the shoulder fellowship starting in 2017 is now open.
    Please apply by visiting the Unit and sending your CV to Jan Barker
    Visits to the Reading shoulder unit are welcome - Please liaise with Jan Barker [Read more]
  • RSU is advertising for shoulder fellowship to start in July 2017
    a post-CCT shoulder fellowship for One year. please send CV to Mrs Jan Barker and arrange a visit to meet Prof Levy and Mr Sforza. [Read more]
  • Coming up courses:
    we invite you to join us:

    1. Reading Shoulder Arthroplasty Instructional course,  30 September 2016
      With UK and International faculty

      Limited places - Register early
    [Read more]
  • New, New, New: Innovative Design Orthopaedics -
    IDO Isometer Shoulder Muscle Strength Gauge. [Read more]
  • Verso Stemless TSA with a new company Innovative Design Orthopaedics (IDO)
  • Shoulder study day for Physiotherapists
    Will be available soon.
    Please register your interest by e-mail to: course@readingshoulderunit.com [Read more]
  • For GPs - New!!! NHS Choose & Book
    The Unit at Berkshire Independent Hospital is open for NHS patients through Choose & Book (Extended Choice Network).
    Book online
    or contact the secretaries. [Read more]
  • Groundbreaking research from the Reading Shoulder Unit by Prof. Ofer Levy and his team regarding Propionibacterium Acnes and shoulder arthritis. 
    Propionibacterium acnes: an underestimated etiology in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis?

    This is a very important article in that it suggests the presence of propionibacterium in previously unoperated shoulders with arthritis and furthermore that 'aseptic' failures of shoulder arthroplasty may, in fact, be related to indolent infections with this slow growing organism.
    Read comments by Dr Frederick A. Matsen III, M.D.
    [Read more]
  • New Survey on usage of shoulder replacement prostheses.
    Take the survey [Read more]
  • Listen to the BBC Radio4 programme - a day in the operating theatre at the Reading Shoulder Unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital - Case Notes with Dr Mark Porter on Regional anaesthesia for shoulder surgery [Read more]
  • The least complications with the Verso shoulder compared with other reverse shoulder systems
    From the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, UK

    Bone Joint J 2013 vol. 95-B no. SUPP 27 25

    COMPLICATION RATES FROM THREE
    COMMONLY USED REVERSE POLARITY TOTAL
    SHOULDER REPLACEMENTS: A MINIMUM TWOYEAR
    FOLLOW-UP OF 64 CASES
    S. Robati, M.K. Shahid, J. Allport, A. Ray and G. Sforza 
  • Art at the Reading Shoulder and Elbow Centre
    Original fine art prints all dealing with human body in different situations by four artists are exhibited in the Reading Shoulder and Elbow centre 

    The prints on display are available to buy, with the artist contributing a donation to research. For more information please contact the secretaries in the unit.

    [Read more]
  • The Verso stemless rTSA is approved in Australia & New Zealand by the TGA.
    Its use is launched soon in Australia & New Zealand. 

  • Excellent clinical results over more than 11 years with the Verso rTSA.
    Very high patient satisfaction and return to full activities including sports. [Read more]
Patients' Feedback

"You are such a great team at the shoulder unit so approachable, knowledgeable and helpful

Many thanks"

                                                                 David W.


 


June 2016 

Dear Professor Levy,
I have produced a brief overview of my shoulder surgeries: 

Brief Medical History

I was born on 31st December 1965. At the age of 4 I was diagnosed with Still's disease which has over the years resulted in multiple joint replacements.

Pre Copeland Shoulder Surgery

At the age of 21 I started to experience extreme pain and very limited movement in my left shoulder and was having difficulty performing everyday tasks, such as:-
Washing my hair.
Putting clothes on over my head.
Driving a car; in particular changing gear.
The pain in the shoulder would wake me up in the night if I rolled over on it.
I had a Copeland shoulder in 1987; the operation was performed by Mr Copeland himself.
I was only in the Royal Berkshire hospital 3 days post surgery and left hospital with my arm in a sling.

Post Surgery

There were no complications post surgery, I received no physio but was given exercises to do. The range of movement improved although it was still restricted. More importantly for me was that the joint was totally pain free. I was able to perform all the tasks of everyday life without impediment.

Over the two decades the range of movement in the shoulder decreased; I struggled getting non stretchy clothes on and off over my head and reaching items on overhead shelves, but as the joint was pain free I did not feel the need to consider more surgery.
During a routine check up at Professor Levy's shoulder clinic I was informed that my
Copeland should was non longer in the correct position; however as the joint still gave me no pain I decided to leave well alone.

Pre Verso Shoulder replacement

Sometime in 2010 the shoulder started to cause me problems, the pain was waking me up in the night and every day tasks became very painful. My quality of life was being impaired.
In 2011 Professor Levy kindly agreed to replace my Copeland shoulder with the Verso shoulder.

Post Verso Shoulder

The surgery was performed at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and there were no post operative complications. I was an in patient for approximately 5 days. The arm was in a sling but I was given a list exercises from day one. Naturally the shoulder was
uncomfortable to exercise at this point, but there was no joint pain just discomfort form the post operative swelling and of course the stitches pulling.

At home I continued with the exercises and had two physio session locally. When I had the Copeland shoulder I was living in Maidenhead but by the time I needed the Verso I was residing in a little village to the North of Ipswich. The local physio had not come across this type of replacement before and was unsure of how far to push it. Whilst the Copeland shoulder had served me extremely well for over two decades, I had experienced quite a restricted range of movement for years, so my muscles and tendons had shrunk.
At my 6 week check up with Professor Levy, he was pleased with the replacement but felt that I was not getting the maximum range of movement. Professor Levy took the time to show me how to gently push the arm and help stretch the the muscles and tendons.  
These exercises were very simple to preform - lay back on a bed and raise the operated arm as far as it will go and then with a little support from your good arm push the arm of the operated shoulder back, and once you are up over head level gravity does the majority of the work for you. By performing this simple exercise three or four times a day the range of movement in my left shoulder quickly increased.

I can honestly say that my shoulder is now totally pain free and that I have the largest range of movement in it that I have had in the last thirty years. I am able to carry out all daily activities without even giving my shoulder a second thought. I am extremely grateful to Professor Levy and his team and can't recommend the Verso shoulder replacement highly enough.

I am now 5 years after the Verso shoulder replacement totally pain free with full function and range of motion.

See you next year.
Yours sincerely,
Sarah Clutterbuck

The Copeland Total Shoulder replacement 23 years after the operation

 

5 years after revision of the Copeland resurfacing to
Verso stemless reverse total shoulder replacement


 



"I had a manipulation under anaesthetic procedure on my right shoulder, under the care of Professor Levy. I want to say, first and foremost, how impressed I was with the care I received. The nursing staff in the day surgery were very friendly, efficient and professional and the anaesthetic team made me feel very reassured. The whole procedure went very well and while I’m still receiving physiotherapy, my shoulder is making a good recovery. Can you please pass on my thanks to the whole team for this?"

                                                              Yours sincerely

                                                                Mrs B. M.


Wow!
Yesterday I had a right shoulder ASD ACJ Excision & SYNOVECTOMY. I really do have to say what wonderful experience it was, even though everyone was under pressure, everyone without exception had time to talk to me, I fully understood everything at every step of the way. My thanks to the very exceptional Miss Lora Young, who I must say was brilliant even managing to have quick word with me when I was in recovery (much appreciated)
Arrived 0730hrs
Met team 0815hrs
Walked down to Theatre 0840hrs
Woke up in recovery 0920hrs
Back home in Minehead Somerset 1700hrs.
Took a couple of Co - codamol 2200hrs.
Up 0600hrs discarded sling did the physio no problems, less pain now than before the op.
Please pass this on to Prof Levy, what a team well worth the journey to Reading.
I was impressed with the Hospital generally & the facilities especially M&S !
Thank You Prof Levy & your brilliant team.
                                                  XXX
                                                  S.R.


Dear Prof Levy

It is just about the 1st anniversary of the rotator cuff repair that you did on my shoulder last May and I thought I should just say a big thank you.
In every day life, I dont even think about it - the range of movement is pretty well back to normal (only noticeable at extremes). I am back at the gym trying to get it back to full strength. The only thing I havent tried so far is tennis.
Considering that I had had several years of a painful shoulder with gradual weakness I can tell you that this has been a great success.
                                                                  Many many thanks again
                                                                                R. R.

 

Dear Prof. Levy,
 
You asked me several weeks ago to write  a few words re my experience with having a Verso  shoulder operation performed by your goodself! Here goes ...................
 
I have had Osteoarthritis since the early 1980's and have had two total knee replacements. Originally, several years ago,  I suffered from a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder.  I was operated on by Mr. Stephen Copeland at The Reading Shoulder Clinic, but unfortunately the operation wasn't the success story either of us had hoped for and I was left with less pain but still not 100% pain free. Over the next few years my shoulder was giving me progressive pain and in 2011 the pain had become quite severe. I eventually had pain 24/7 and had less and less movement due to how much pain it caused. I couldn't stand to leave it hanging down or supported in a sling, not even sleeping helped, whatever I did, the pain was getting worse! 
 
I saw Prof Ofer Levy in October 2011 and it was decided I should have some form of shoulder replacement.  The choice was either The Copeland Shoulder or indeed Prof. Levy's own invention, The Verso.  After X rays, Prof. Levy thought I would probably have The Verso but he would make the final judgement once he had opened the shoulder.  The three weeks prior to the operation, I was on morphine~ knocked me out but allowed me some sleep and rest bite.
 
Post operation, waking up in my room, I was told all had gone to plan and it was The Verso as my shoulder was "blown"!! I was in an all singing and dancing sling for a few of days and smaller one after my first post op appointment.  The Physio came and saw me and started me on the initial "easy" exercises. The arm felt heavy and I felt I needed to gingerly support it at all times.  I spent two nights in hospital and then was sent home with a sheet of exercises that had been given to me by the Physio. Obviously no driving for about 12 weeks ~ that was the worst (and most frustrating!) limitation. No more morphine, only some tramadol to help with the initial discomfort.
 
Starting gently, but diligently, I carried out the exercises. The pain was soooo much less than before the operation and the thought of it getting less and less kept me going when sometimes the thought of lifting a weight up and down, using a red elastic band attached to the door, etc., etc., seemed like a pain in the a**e! When I had my stitches removed, my exercises continued but in water ~ so much better. Initially, I overdid  the swimming (against a jet stream)and the shoulder did ache but with the Physio's advice I slowed the swimming down and have gradually extended the time/strokes. I continued to see the Physio about every two weeks and I was eventually signed off on my own cognizance. Slowly, but surely, the discomfort has become less and less. Exercise is the key to the best recuperation ~ you just have to do it!
 
It is now nine months since the operation and I cannot believe how good the shoulder feels and what I can now do ~ EVERYTHING!!!  I still swim everyday and still do some of the water exercises to warm up first ~ (this is from someone who truly hates exercises!) and I really do believe this has helped so much towards my recuperation. I would have no hesitation in recommending Prof. Levy's Verso ~ if I needed the same on my right shoulder, I would go straight away to him and agree to the procedure, without even thinking!
 
A true success ~ thank you Prof. Levy! x
                                                J.D.




My shoulder started to hurt approximately 8 - 9yrs ago. Itgradually got worse and I assumed it was arthritis or rheumatism so took paracetamol or other pain killers.

 
Unfortunately it became worse, and I adjusted my shoulder movements to compensate for the gradual lack of movement in my shoulder.
 
Eventually, I visited my GP who suggested I should go and see Mr. Brownlow at The shoulder Clinic. I went for an appointment with Mr. Brownlow who, on examining my shoulder, said he would perform an Arthroscopy and repair any damage that he could see, but knew it would be limited.
 
I had the operation in August 2009 and 6 weeks later went back to see Mr. Brownlow. He told me there was not a lot he could do as the ligaments were worn out. He had done a tidy up but there was nothing he could do to repair the ligaments as there was nothing left of them. He said he thought it was probably hereditary.  I had physiotherapy and also exercised at a gym but was unable to get anymore movement in the arm.
 
I returned to Mr. Brownlow and he suggested I went to see Professor Levy. I made an appointment and Professor Levy gave me exercises to carry out. Unfortunately, they made no difference and my shoulder was getting more painful. My right arm was losing strength as I had to support it with my left arm. It got so bad I had to start using my left arm to help me lift a glass of wine!!!
 
On returning to Professor Levy he then said he would operate and do a Total Reverse Shoulder Replacement, and when he promised 100% improvement.
 
I went into the Independent Hospital on Feb 11, 2011 and had the operation. The first 2 weeks after the operation, the pain was excruciating and I really did think I had done the wrong thing.  However, with the help of my husband, I carried out the exercises as I had been instructed to do which were painful but gradually I could move it, although by now I was very able to do so many things left handed.
 
I returned to Professor Levy 3 weeks later and he was very pleased with the progress I had made.  I was seeing my physiotherapist twice a week, and although she is brutal, she is also brilliant. I went for 10 sessions and also did the instructed exercises every hour. The pain by then was only minimal when I tried to push the arm in a backward motion. I went on holiday and did exercises in the pool many times each day and gradually the movement in my arm was enough to paint all the 7ft shutter doors on the house with no problem at all. I do all the gardening and have had no pain at all.
 
To say that I am absolutely delighted in having had this operation is an understatement. I have almost complete movement in my shoulder, with only reaching backwards at odd angles being difficult, and each day seems to bring me closer to 100% which I know will come before very long.
 
Notwithstanding the skill of Professor Levy, I would emphasis the critical part which religiously doing the exercises played in this remarkable transformation. It absolutely necessary to carry out the regime, and hopefully the knowledge that it all will out in the end will be the motivation to get through the painful times.
 
Mrs. HT



 

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections


 



I am a  theatre porter in Circle Hospital Reading I decided to have my procedure done at The Reading Shoulder  Unit at Ramsey health care to have an experience of the care they offer to patients  (NHS) like we always give to our patients but to my greatest surprise  I am overwhelmed the amount of care I received from the time I step my feet in the hospital and on to the time of my discharged. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the doctors nurses and everyone that involved in looking after me during my stay in the hospital. Thank You So Much!
IB  (Ibs)


I was happily standing beside an apple tree one day in early summer 2015 and as I turned I collapsed in a heap on the ground. Aged 82, and with a gammy knee, this was not a complete surprise except that I couldn't get up. I had unconsciously put down my hand to ease the fall and my entire weight had transmitted to my shoulder.

I hit my head hard but when I tried to get up I couldn't because I was  totally unable to use my arm. I phoned my husband and he rescued me and took me to outpatients. After an X-ray I was informed there was no fracture and suggested some physiotherapy.  I was extremely conscientious with the exercises I was given  but there were some I was totally unable to do. This led to no improvement at all in several important movements. 

I went to my doctor and my physio without getting much sympathy. Phrases like .."try some paracetamol", ......"we all have damaged shoulders when we get older''...."rest it for a week" or, ..."try some physio" were all trotted out.  But it was VERY PAINFUL, AND IT  EITHER STOPPED ME DOING THE THINGS I NEEDED TO DO AND WAS DETERMINED TO DO.
    
Luckily some time later a friend told me about the Reading Shoulder Unit. 
In February we were with friends (both doctors) each of whom had had a rotator cuff injury; the wife had lengthy physio while he, with a worse injury and had an operation at the Reading Shoulder Unit with a remarkably quick recovery. His advice was to go there for treatment and we made arrangements immediately.
In February I travelled over 100 miles to met Professor Levy. And how glad I am I did.  Before my fall, we were still skiing and playing golf and just chatting with him I felt a wave of belief reaching me that somehow or other he was going to find a solution.

What a difference I experienced there.
His first comment was that the insertion of the tendon had separated from the humerus bone (no wonder the physio couldn't do the job!). Secondly, due to the time lapse the muscle had atrophied, wasted away and was very weak. There was now a hole greater than 4cm in the tendon. Professor Levy told me that keyhole surgery could repair it. Even better I was assured that I was not too old to have it fixed!!
Despite being 82 and a tricky prognosis, he agreed to take me as a patient and he operated on the 2nd of March.
He found that that the tear was massive with an undefined shape - even worse than he expected. Four hours later the job was done. Though the operation was tricky it was successful.
 
Thanks to his clear protocol for recovery I started with complete rest with my arm immobilised in a sling; then I could start gentle physiotherapy. Fortunately this could be done locally as the progression was clearly defined. By April Prof. Levy strongly advised me to make use of our heated pool for exercise. Then The Miracle started. I now have complete recovery of my all my shoulder movements. It is an absolute joy. I am playing golf but we have decided sadly to give up skiing- just can't afford to take the risk and at 82  its good decision!! Croquet is a good alternative.

By summer the pain had gone, and I was swimming in the pool to strengthen it. Moreover, I could swing a golf club again by September. My life had returned to normal. 
 
Almost exactly one year later, after a bad start, I am now able to do everything thanks to the marvellous treatment from the RSU and Professor Levy. THANK YOU for your belief in me, your unique skill, your fun and your kindness. May many more people realise soon that physio is not always the best treatment for rotator cuff injuries and can often cause unnecessary damage.
 
I was so glad to have had the operation. Thank you, Joan Creek