Shoulder Impingement Treatment

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An Overview on Shoulder Impingement Treatment

The rotator cuff is a sophisticated structure within the shoulder joint composed of four muscle-tendon units. The structure is responsible for connecting the humerus (upper arm bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade) and plays a critical role in shoulder function and mobility. As the muscles of the rotator cuff ascend from the scapula and attach to the humerus, they travel underneath a portion of the scapula, commonly known as the acromium. The bursal sac in this area can become inflamed and irritated in certain patients, usually from repetitive overuse or an injury to the shoulder joint. Patients in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California communities experiencing severe subacromial bursitis or rotator cuff impingement (pinching) may be candidates for a surgical shoulder impingement treatment. Dr. Jervis Yau, orthopedic shoulder surgeon, specializes in a surgical treatment designed to treat an inflamed bursa, known as subacromial decompression.

Dr. Yau performs subacromial decompression through a minimally invasive, arthroscopic approach. An arthroscope and special surgical instruments are utilized to remove the inflamed bursa and tissue in between the acromion and rotator cuff tendons. During the same procedure, Dr. Yau may remove bone spurs or other abnormalities that may be impinging on the rotator cuff.

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Recovery and Rehabilitation Following Subacromial Decompression

Following subacromial decompression, the use of a sling or similar device is recommended for comfort.  The will begin a short rehabilitation program to effectively regain full shoulder function. Many patients are able to return to most daily activities without much pain or dysfunction within 4-6 weeks.

For additional resources on shoulder impingement treatment options, or to determine if you are a candidate for subacromial decompression, please contact the office of Dr. Jervis Yau, shoulder surgeon in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California area.  

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