Shoulder impingement occurs when the lubrication sac or bursa between the rotator cuff and the top of the arm bone becomes inflamed or irritated.
The bursa helps the rotator cuff tendons glide smoothly when you move your arm. Repetitive overhead movements of the arm can cause the arm bone to rub against, or impinge the tendon of the rotator cuff, which irritates the bursa resulting in inflammation and pain.
When the bursa is inflamed and swells with more fluid the condition is known as bursitis. When it is the rotator cuff that is irritated or damaged the condition is known as tendonitis.
Symptoms may include minor pain and a loss of strength that may progress into increasing discomfort with lifting or moving the arm.
Treatment Options for Impingement
- Anti-inflammatory Medication – Dr. Hecht may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication for a period of time to calm/lessen the pain caused by the inflammation.
- Corticosteroid Injections Occasionally a cortisone injection is used to locally treat the inflammation. Dr. Hecht will discuss the risks and benefits of cortisone injections with you.
- Surgery If non-operative treatments fail to relieve the symptoms, surgery can be performed. Dr. Hecht will arthroscopically address the condition by removing the bursa sac and shaving a small amount of bone from the undersurface of the acromion, or shoulder blade. This is known as a “subacromial decompression.” Many times this is done in conjunction with other shoulder procedures.
- Strengthening exercise and PT after surgery A successful outcome with surgery is dependent upon a dedicated and supervised rehabilitation program. Patients are referred to physical therapy where they work one-on-one with a licensed physical therapist 2-3 times/week to regain range of motion, strength, and the ability to perform desired activities. The overall length of physical therapy varies depending on the procedures performed.
Why Dr. Joseph Hecht?
Dr. Hecht is board certified in orthopedic surgery, providing expert knowledge and expertise in the area of shoulder conditions and treatment options. As one of the top Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland shoulder surgeons, Dr. Hecht brings years of valuable experience to every shoulder assessment.