Shoulder Impingement Treatment in Seattle, WA
Shoulder impingement occurs when bone spurs rub on the rotator cuff. When the arm is in the overhead position this narrows the space available for the rotator cuff and can cause pain. This may also contribute to rotator cuff tearing over time.
Shoulder Impingement Treatment Options
In most cases, non-operative treatment can provide pain relief and improve the daily function of the shoulder. Some of the commonly prescribed treatment include; rest, ice, avoidance of aggravating activity (lifting and overhead activities), anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy. Expect several weeks of treatment prior to seeing substantial improvement and return to function.
Certain people benefit from surgical intervention, including:
- People who failed nonsurgical treatment
- People who are extremely active
- Manual laborers and athletes whose maximum strength and function is needed for overhead work or sports
All impingement surgery, known as a subacromial decompression, can be done arthroscopically (minimally invasive surgery). This involves removing the impinging factor (the bone spur and CA ligament) and creating more space for the shoulder to move freely without causing pain. Most cases are done on an outpatient basis.
There are two things that are causing the pressure on the rotator cuff; the acromial bone spur (on the bottom portion of the acromion bone. A saline solution is inserted in the bursa sack, a cushion between the acromion bone and the rotator cuff. This allows more space for the operation to occur. Then, with the assistance of a camera, motorized instruments shave away the bottom portion of the acromion. Finally, the CA ligament is removed. Now the rotator cuff can move freely without tension from the acromial spur.
Watch more about subacromonial decompression: