Shoulder impingement is pain and dysfunction in the shoulder, caused by soft tissue irritation related to shoulder movement. This usually affects the rotator cuff (see Rotator Cuff Tears), the subacromial bursa and other soft tissues in the shoulder. The condition usually results from minor injury or overuse, which leads to inflammation and changes in the normal mechanics of the shoulder. Changes in muscle strength and function causes worsening of pain. The process can be worsened by pre-existing arthritis and bone spurs which can limit both joint motion and the amount of space for soft tissue movement. This can eventually lead to severe tissue damage and even rotator cuff breakdown.

The diagnosis is made by made by a combination of the patient’s history, the findings on careful physical examination. An MRI scan, or an Ultrasound can be helpful in ruling out other serious conditions.
The treatment of shoulder impingement depends on several factors, including the amount of debility, the duration of symptoms and the functional expectations and health of the patient. If conservative measures like medications, injections and physical therapy fail, surgery may occasionally be necessary to help you regain good, pain free function, and long-term shoulder health. Surgery involves removing irritated tissue like the bursa and shaving down prominent bone spurs that cause irritation of the soft tissues. Traditionally this is done through large incisions with significant bleeding, tissue damage, pain and scarring, necessitating spending time in the hospital.

At Oceana Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Dr Aboka performs minimally invasive, all-arthroscopic treatment for shoulder impingement through keyhole incisions. This cutting-edge technique allows for thorough inspection of the shoulder joint, and facilitates identification and treatment of other painful conditions that may be present, ensuring return to good shoulder function. This procedure is outpatient/same-day surgery, and leads to less pain and scarring and quicker recovery.