The following may help relieve conditions of a subacromial impingement: –
  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physiotherapy keeps shoulder strong and flexible and reduces the irritation
  • Injection reduces inflammation and controls the pain
If none of the above improve symptoms then surgery may be required. This will be an arthroscopic assessment and the goal of any surgery is to reduce the effects of impingement, by increasing the amount of space between the acromion and the rotator cuff tendons, which will then allow for easier movement and less pain and inflammation.


Arthroscopic subacromial decompression is keyhole surgery is carried out as a day case
A supplementary nerve block is used during the operation which means that immediately after the operation the shoulder and arm may feel numb.

This is a keyhole operation usually carried out through two or three 5mm puncture wounds. There will be no stitches; only small sticking plaster strips over the wounds. These should be kept dry until the wound has healed. This usually takes 5 to 7 days.

You will return from theatre wearing a sling. This is for comfort and should be discarded as soon as possible (usually within the first 1 to 2 days). Some people find it helpful to continue wearing the sling at night for a little longer if the shoulder feels sore.

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