Please note: Currently due to the coronavirus pandemic and in line with government advice we are offering primarily remote video new and return appointments through Ross Hall. We are regularly reviewing this advice.

Arthroscopic subacromial decompression

This is an operation using keyhole surgery, it is commonly performed for impingement syndrome which has failed to respond to conservative measures such as steroid injection and physiotherapy. The surgery is usually carried out as a day case.

Typical findings include an impingment lesion (see below) where the frayed tissue represents abnormal contact between the bursal surface of the rotator cuff and the undersurface of the acromion.

During the operation space is cleared above the rotator cuff tendons by removing bone, ligament and soft tissue. The operation usually lasts about 30 minutes.

The bone spur seen below has been half removed using a motorised burr.

please watch the following animation on the surgery




After surgery the patient wears a sling for a period of 48 hours after the surgery. To read more about sling care click here.

Returning to sedentary work would usually be expected after 1-2 weeks and return to driving after a similar amount of time.

Postoperative  physiotherapy (click here for full protocol)

This is required to return the shoulder to a painfree  range of motion with good quality of movement. Generally there are no restrictions but exercises concentrate on pendular and active assist but with attention to scapula control and adequate stretching of the posterior capsule.

Andrew Brooksbank