Bursitis/ Impingement surgery

If pain and disability of the shoulder persist, despite nonoperative treatment, surgery may be considered. Surgery for bursitis or impingement surgery called a “subacromial decompression” involves removal of the inflamed bursal tissue over the rotator cuff and shaving of the acromion bone which can narrow the space above the rotator cuff. A partial rotator cuff tear may only require a trimming or smoothing procedure called a “debridement. However, if the tendon is completely torn away from its insertion on the humerus bone, it can be repaired directly to the bone.

Most surgical procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis. The surgical procedure in the majority of cases involves minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy. Through the use of a tiny fiber optic scope and other small instruments inserted through small incisions, your Rothman physician can perform the bony shaving and tendon “debridement” under video control. This eliminates the need for a large, open incision.

Recovery from impingement / bursitis surgery involves the use of a sling for a short period, less than two weeks. Physical therapy is generally recommended after the surgery.  Return to full activity ranges from six to eight weeks.

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