Arthroscopic Acromioplasty for Impingement/Bursitis

  • Impingement, shoulder bursitis and tendinitis are a common cause of shoulder pain
  • The pain often occurs with overhead activities
  • It occurs because the space between your shoulder and the bone directly above the shoulder (the acromion) is very narrow, and in some people this can result in painful friction between the bone and the underlying tendon (impingement)
  • This can often be associated with inflammation of the bursa (bursitis), the tendon (tendinitis) and/or tearing of the tendon in the shoulder responsible for lifting the arm (rotator cuff tear)
  • The spectrum of disorders is also referred to as “rotator cuff syndrome”
  • Surgical treatment (acromioplasty, excision of inflamed bursa) is recommended when conservative measures have failed for rotator cuff syndrome
  • Surgery is performed arthroscopically (“keyhole” or minimally invasive surgery) – this is associated with a faster recovery time and minimal scarring
  • Typically the operation is done as a day case procedure (no overnight stay in hospital) under general anaesthetic
  • The operation involves removal of a small amount of bone from the acromion and removal of inflamed tissue (bursa) in this area as well
  • The complication rate is low, and the procedure is not associated with any negative long term side-effects
  • An arm sling is worn for comfort afterwards, and return to work is usually possible quite soon after the surgery
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