Common Shoulder Conditions

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Peter Hallam MS FRCS (Orth), Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

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In subacromial impingement the rotator cuff jams under the acromion whilst attempting to lift the arm.  The bursa between the top of the tendon and the under surface of the acromion is pinched.

Symptoms

Pain is felt in the shoulder as the arm is lifted forward or to the side

Investigations

X rays and either an ultrasound or MRI scan.

Treatments

Non-Operative: Subacromial impingement can be treated with physiotherapy or injections of local anaesthetic and steroid (cortisol).

Operative: If non-operative treatments fail then more space can be made for the rotator cuff tendon by carrying out keyhole surgery (a subacromial decompression).

Position of shoulder when arm elevated

The bursa between the top of the tendon and the under surface of the acromion is pinched.

Position of shoulder when arm elevated

Subacromial Impingement