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As Chair of the Research Committee for the British Elbow and Shoulder Society, Professor Rees has led a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership to identify the national top ten UK research priority topics for ‘Surgery for Common Shoulder Problems’. This was process involved bringing together patients, carers and clinicians to set these priority topics of unaswered questions.

The process was completed in July 2015 and the results available on the James Lind website and below: 


Top 10 research priority areas from the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership for surgery for common shoulder problems

  • For the main shoulder conditions of arthritis, frozen shoulder, impingement, rotator cuff tears and instability, can you predict which patients will do well with surgery to help them decide on whether to have surgery or not?


  • In patients with 3 and 4 part proximal humeral fractures what is the long term outcome of reverse total shoulder replacement compared to hemiarthoplasty?


  • Does arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery in patients with degenerative rotator cuff tendon problems improve outcome and prevent further tendon degeneration and tears compared to patients with no surgical intervention?


  • Does early mobilisation and physiotherapy after shoulder surgery improve patient outcome compared to standard immobilisation and physiotherapy?


  • In patients with shoulder arthritis is a hemiarthroplasty or a total shoulder replacement or a reverse replacement most effective?


  • Are patients (including older age groups) with rotator cuff tendon tears in their shoulder best treated with surgery or physiotherapy?


  • How can we ensure that patients see the right doctors and clinicians promptly and correctly, and does this lead to better outcomes?


  • In patients with Frozen Shoulder, does early surgery improve outcome compared to non-surgery treatments such as injection and dilatation?


  • In patients with newly diagnosed calcific tendinitis (calcium in a shoulder tendon), is early surgical intervention more clinically effective than non-operative treatments?


  • Do patients with partial thickness rotator cuff tendon tears benefit more from a surgical repair compared to a decompression and debridement alone?