Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression

Decompression is a non-invasive procedure for the treatment of Subacromial Impingement Syndrome.

Subacromial impingement refers to a medical condition which is caused due to the scarring of bursa in the subacromial space and/or where the rotator cuff gets impinged between underlying surface of acromion and humeral head tip. The causes of this syndrome are multiple, such as aging. Conservative treatment is administered based on these causes.

There are various causes for this syndrome. They include:

  • Occurrence of bone spurs (subacromial spurs).
  • Spurs related to osteoarthritis on the acromioclavicular joint.
  • Deformity in the acromion.
  • Calcification/Thickness of the coracoacromial ligament.

The primary remedial measures include a rotator cuff strengthening program, which may take 3-6 months. For intermittent relief, steroid injection or subacromial lidocaine may be given. A considerable number of patients can benefit by practicing the exercise program alone.

If relief is not experienced by non-surgical treatments like anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy etc, then Arthroscopic subacromial decompression may only be the reliable option. Certain preoperative procedures are to be done prior to surgery. Blood test is done and all the anti-inflammatory medicines are stopped prior to 1 week of the surgery. Arthroscopic examination may also be done before the surgery. This shall help in identifying any sort of unexpected pathological conditions.

Procedure: By utilizing an arthroscope, the doctor enters into the subacromial space. The damaged structures are removed or trimmed. After this, removal of scar tissue and cleansing of bone undersurface is performed by using arthoscopic coagulators and shavers. The bone spurs are also removed using a burr to ensure that they don’t act as a source of impingement in future.

The incisions are closed by using a single suture.

The procedure can be done within a single day and the degree of success attained is almost 80%.