One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is impingement syndrome, or the pinching of the rotator cuff and subacromial bursa within the shoulder joint. Impingement may be caused by tendon or ligament tears, bone spur growth, or inflammation in the ball and socket joint, and is often associated with pain and decreased range-of-motion. Fortunately, a safe and effective surgical procedure, called shoulder decompression, can be used to alleviate impingement syndrome.
The team of shoulder specialists at the Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles is committed to providing comprehensive care for chronic shoulder conditions. Our orthopedic surgeons are renowned experts in the use of arthroscopic shoulder surgery to treat shoulder impingement. If you think you may be suffering from this condition, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment by calling (888) 847-0357.
What Is Subacromial Decompression?
Shoulder decompression, also known as subacromial decompression, is an arthroscopic procedure used to clear irritated or damaged tissue from the shoulder joint to provide more space for the rotator cuff to move freely. Subacromial decompression can also remove bone spur formation within ball and socket joint, a condition that can pinch the rotator cuff and cause pain. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.
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Who Is a Candidate for Shoulder Decompression?
Typically, shoulder impingement is first treated with conservative methods, including physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. However, surgery may be an option for people with symptoms that are more severe or do not respond to conservative therapy. Athletes and people in physically demanding jobs requiring full use of the shoulder may also be good candidates for subacromial decompression surgery. Diagnostic imaging can be used to identify what is causing pain within the shoulder joint and determine whether subacromial decompression will be the most effective option.
Shoulder decompression is performed with a high-tech device called an arthroscope. The arthroscope is equipped with a light and a camera, providing live video-feed from inside the joint to a monitor in the operating room. The procedure involves two or three five-millimeter incisions, which are just wide enough to fit the arthroscope and other small surgical instruments.
A methodical inspection of the tissues and bone in the shoulder joint is performed to look for inflammatory debris, irritated or torn ligaments and tendons, and bone spurs. A device called a shaver is used to remove bits of inflamed tissue. Bone spurs that have pinched the rotator cuff or are causing other irritation within the shoulder can be smoothed down. Tears in ligaments, muscles, or tendons resulting from shoulder impingement can also be repaired arthroscopically.
The orthopedic surgeons at the Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence perform the most advanced arthroscopic shoulder decompression, consistently achieving exceptional results. Our minimal incision approach to relieve shoulder impingement significantly reduces scarring, pain, and recovery time compared with traditional open shoulder decompression.
Recovery from Subacromial Decompression Surgery
Most patients who undergo arthroscopic subacromial decompression recover completely and return to work or normal activities within one week to three months. Pain and stiffness in ball and socket joint may occur for several days after surgery, but they are greatly reduced due to the minimal incision approach used by our expert orthopedic surgeons.
Physical rehabilitation is highly recommended after subacromial decompression, and can begin as soon as the surgical incisions have healed. A physical therapy program will include exercises to prevent stiffness and swelling and to restore strength to the shoulder. Athletes and patients whose jobs require strenuous overhead motion may require more rigorous rehabilitation.
Contact an Orthopedic Surgeon in LA
The Shoulder Surgery Center of Excellence offers renowned orthopedic surgeons specializing in the comprehensive treatment of shoulder injuries and chronic shoulder joint conditions. If you have specific questions about shoulder impingement or shoulder decompression surgery, you can contact us by calling (888) 847-0357.
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Please read this article on WedMD about impingement syndrome.
Next, learn about shoulder dislocation surgery.