Private Orthopaedic Surgery

Shoulder Impingement & Tendon Surgery

Shoulder impingement is a condition characterised by compression or irritation of the tendons in the shoulder joint, typically as a result of repetitive overhead activities or structural abnormalities. When conservative treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and medication fail to provide relief, surgery may be considered.

There are different surgical options for shoulder impingement, depending on the severity and underlying cause of the impingement. One common surgical procedure is subacromial decompression, which involves removing or shaving down a part of the acromion (a bony prominence on the shoulder blade) to create more space for the tendons to move freely.

In some cases, tendon repair or reconstruction may be necessary if the tendons are severely damaged or torn. This can involve reattaching the tendon to its original attachment point or using grafts to reconstruct the damaged tendon.

The specific surgical approach and techniques used will vary based on the individual’s condition and the surgeon’s preference. It is important to consult with an orthopaedic specialist who can evaluate your specific situation and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan, including surgery, if necessary. They will be able to provide you with more detailed information about the surgical procedure, potential risks, expected recovery time, and post-operative rehabilitation process.

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Shoulder Impingement & Tendon Surgery FAQs

Shoulder impingement refers to a condition where the tendons or bursa in the shoulder become compressed or pinched during certain movements. This can cause pain, inflammation, and limited range of motion.

Common symptoms include shoulder pain that worsens with overhead movements, difficulty reaching behind the back, weakness in the affected arm, and a clicking or popping sensation.

Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination by a healthcare professional, discussing your symptoms and medical history, and possibly ordering imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or ultrasound.

Non-surgical treatments may include rest, physical therapy to strengthen the shoulder muscles and improve range of motion, pain management with medications or injections, and modifying activities that worsen symptoms.

Tendon surgery, such as arthroscopic subacromial decompression, is usually considered when conservative treatments have failed to provide relief after a reasonable period (typically several months) or if there is a significant structural issue causing impingement, such as a bone spur.

Arthroscopic subacromial decompression is a common surgical procedure for shoulder impingement. It involves removing or shaving off bone spurs or excess tissue that may be impinging on the tendons or bursa, thus creating more space and reducing compression.

Recovery time can vary depending on the individual, the extent of the surgery, and other factors. Generally, it may take several weeks to months to fully recover from shoulder impingement surgery. Physical therapy is often recommended to regain strength and restore range of motion.

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These can include infection, bleeding, nerve injury, stiffness, weakness, and persistent pain. It’s important to discuss these potential risks with your surgeon before undergoing the procedure.