Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ

Question:

I've been diagnosed with a shoulder impingement problem. It comes and goes, but seems to be staying longer when it comes. I've tried all the usual treatments such as drugs, acupuncture, exercise, and rest. What else is there?

Answer:

Shoulder impingement is a fairly common problem in adults. The soft tissues around the shoulder get pinched between two bones. This usually happens to a tendon or bursa. The bursa is the cushion that sits between the tendon and the bone. When conservative treatment fails, surgery is an option to think about. The operation is called decompression. The doctor shaves away any bone spurs and cuts out part of the acromion. The acromion projects from the scapula (wing bone) to form the roof of the shoulder. By removing the end of this bone, pressure is taken off the soft tissues underneath. This operation is usually very successful. Most patients regain motion and function. Pain is relieved allowing the patient to return to work and recreational activities. Jacques Soyer, MD, et al. The Relationship Between Clinical Outcomes and the Amount of Arthroscopic Acromial Resection. In Arthroscopy. January 2003. Vol. 19. No. 1. Pp. 34-39.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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