Friends of the 63-year-old musician told Britain's Sunday Mirror he had an operation to correct abnormal bone growths, called bone spurs, on his joints.
Starr, who has been drumming since he was 16 years old, has canceled several of his All Starr band's tour dates, the newspaper said.
An unidentified spokesman for Starrsaid: "He was told this could be something to do with his drumming. He uses his arm much more than normal. It's been hurting him for some time."