Rotator Cuff Disease

Subacromial impingement, subacromial bursitis, and rotator cuff tear problems often overlap.  They may exist in isolation or they may be part of a sequence of changes as the condition of your shoulder worsens.

Subacromial Impingement

Patients with subacromial impingement may have a normal, or near normal, range of movement with no pain at rest. However, if you have subacromial impingement you will experience sharp pain with certain movements, especially when reaching out or doing overhead activities.

Most often, you will find this condition resolves of its own accord, either just with time alone or assisted by physiotherapy. Some cases require one or two subacromial cortisone injections. If the symptoms persist for a long period, Dr Scott may recommend keyhole surgery for you, which has a high expectation of success.

Subacromial Bursitis

Subacromial bursitis is inflammation of the subacromial bursa, a structure that lies between the outer surface of the rotator cuff tendons and underneath the acromion bone.

Significant inflammation often accompanies longstanding impingement or painful rotator cuff tears. If you have subacromial bursitis, you will most commonly feel pain down the outer aspect of your upper arm. Dr Scott generally recommends surgery for this condition if you also have another associated problem that requires surgery such as impingement, rotator cuff tears or calcific tendonitis.

Occasionally subacromial bursitis exists in isolation, but Dr Scott is cautious about recommending surgery in these instances, as there is no special imaging test which confirms subacromial bursitis reliably enough to guarantee that this is in fact the source of pain.

If you have one of these rotator cuff diseases or another shoulder problem and would like to consult with Dr Scott, find out how you can make an appointment, or contact us now to discuss your situation.