If non-operative treatment is unsuccessful, surgery to relieve pain from shoulder impingement may be indicated. The procedure involves an arthroscopic incision above the deltoid muscle to enter the joint. The surgeon will use the camera to check for any tendon damage while inside the shoulder joint. They will then smooth out the subacromial spurring that is causing impingement. This is done by removal of the bone from the underside of the acromion, to increase the space between the bone and the tendon. A high speed burr is used to flatten its shape. This will create more room for the tendon and decrease the chances of impingement.
Return to work is generally 5-7 days for an office job and 4-6 weeks for a job involving manual labor. A sling is recommended for 1-2 days, and physical therapy is recommended for 6 weeks following the procedure. Regular activity can resume within 6-12 weeks.
About 85 percent of patients experience improved function following this procedure.