What is a subacromial decompression?
Within the shoulder, there are muscles that allow the shoulder to rotate, tendons that stabilize the shoulder with movement, and fluid-filled sacs (bursa) that help cushion shoulder movement. The muscles of the shoulder travel under the acromion (subacromial), and continue to the humerus (upper arm bone). In patients who perform repetitive overhead activities, the rotator cuff tendons consistently rub against the acromion; this rubbing causes inflammation of the tendons and bursa and decreases the space available for normal shoulder movement. Patients who experience shoulder pain and weakness due to impingement and bursitis may be candidates for a surgical procedure called a subacromial decompression. The goal of this arthroscopic procedure is to create space below the acromion to facilitate normal shoulder motion. Dr. Riley J. Williams, orthopedic shoulder surgeon, treats patients in Manhattan, New York City, and the surrounding New York boroughs who have suffered from shoulder impingement and are in need of subacromial decompression.