The information given below is meant for patient education only. Please consult one of our specialist Shoulder surgeons or physiotherapists for proper diagnosis and treatment of your shoulder pain.
The goal of treatment is to control pain and restore motion and strength.
Majority of patients improve with relatively simple treatments to control pain and restore motion.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Drugs like ibuprofen, aceclofenac and paracetamol reduce pain and inflammation.
Physiotherapy. Specific exercises will help restore motion. These are usually done under the supervision of a physiotherapist initially, and later on via a home program. Therapy includes stretching or range of motion exercises for the shoulder. Sometimes heat is used to help loosen the shoulder up before the stretching exercises.
Ultrasound guided steroid injections and Hydrodistention. Occasionally, your doctor might suggest injections into the shoulder joint to control the pain when it is severe. Steroid and local anaesthetic is injected directly into your shoulder joint. Ultrasound guidance helps accurate positioning of the needle into the joint, where it will act on the inflamed capsule. Ultrasound guidance also helps in assessment of the soft tissues covering your shoulder, and rules out tears of the rotator cuff.
If your symptoms are not relieved by therapy, medicines and injections, you and your shoulder surgeon may discuss surgery. It is important to talk with your surgeon about your potential for recovery continuing with simple treatments, and the benefits and risks involved with surgery.
Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression: In this procedure the space around your rotator cuff will be increased. Your hand will be made numb by anaesthesia. Your surgeon will then insert a pencil sized camera into the shoulder to directly visualise all the structures of your shoulder. This will accurately assess other problems like the cartilage, rotator cuff and the labrum. If there are any problems related to these structures, they can be repaired concomitantly. Then the inflamed subacromial bursa and the spur of the bone is removed to increase the subacromial space. This relieves the impingement and pain due to subacromial impingement. Most patients have good outcomes with these procedures.
Recovery. After surgery, physiotherapy is necessary to improve the movements and strength of your shoulder. Although it is a slow process, your commitment to therapy is the most important factor in returning to all the activities you enjoy.
Long-term outcomes after surgery are generally good, with most patients having reduced or no pain and improved range of motion.