The Rotator cuff is a common source of pain in the shoulder. Pain can be due to:
When you raise your arm to shoulder height, the space between the acromion and rotator cuff narrows. The acromion can rub against (or “impinge” on) the tendon and the bursa, causing irritation and pain. You will find difficulty in doing above the shoulder activities.
Shoulder impingement is common in both young athletes and middle-aged people. Young athletes who use their arms overhead for swimming, baseball, and tennis are particularly vulnerable. Those who do repetitive lifting or overhead activities using the arm, such as paper hanging, construction, or painting are also susceptible.
The common symptoms include,
The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and restore function. In planning your treatment, we will consider your age, activity level, and general health
Most initial stages can be managed nonsurgically
Options may include,
Subacromial decompression is the surgical option.
The two techniques commonly used subacromial decompression are,
Subacromial decompression is a surgical procedure on the shoulder to treat shoulder impingement. Subacromial decompression is also called ‘acromioplasty’. The goal of surgery is to create more space for the rotator cuff by removing the bursa and removing the bony spur under the acromion process.
Usually done under the combined brachial block and general anesthesia. The surgeon makes two small key holes in the shoulder to insert an arthroscope into the joint. At first complete visualization of the shoulder joint done to assess the structures.
Decompression is done by removing the subacromial bursa, shaving the bony bridge in under the surface of the acromion to increase the space for the free movement of the rotator cuff. Any rotator cuff tears will be repaired. The entire surgery performed through a minimally-invasive arthroscopic procedure and all-inside technique.
Many subacromial decompression surgeries are done on a day-care basis and do not require you to stay overnight in the hospital.
You will be advised simple shoulder exercises immediate post-surgery and shoulder immobilizer for 3 weeks followed by shoulder exercises as per the protocol. You can return to all normal activities and sports by 3 months
If you have a shoulder impingement and you keep using it despite increasing pain, you may cause further damage to the Rotator cuff. A large rotator cuff tears can happen.
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