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Shoulder impingement is a painful condition that happens when connective tissue, such as the rotator cuff, rubs against the patient’s shoulder blade. In many cases, surgery is the best way to resolve this condition, relieve the pain, and help the patient use their shoulder again. Dr. Edward Diao has many years of experience treating patients with shoulder impingement. If you’re suffering from shoulder impingement, please contact Dr. Edward Diao in Union Square, San Francisco, California, to schedule a consultation.


Shoulder Impingement Q & A

What is shoulder impingement?


Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons of the shoulder are compressed. If you have this condition, you’ll feel pain in your shoulder, especially when using your arm to reach overhead. Your shoulder muscles may also be weaker than normal.

If you don’t get the treatment you need for shoulder impingement, the compressed tendon can tear in two. This is known as a rotator cuff tear.


Why does it happen?


In your shoulder, bone surrounds your muscles and tendons. The group of muscles and tendons located within the shoulder bones is known as the rotator cuff. If you injure your rotator cuff, there will be swelling. This puts pressure on the tendons and results in a loss of blood flow, which leads to the symptoms of shoulder impingement syndrome.


Can surgery help with shoulder impingement?


In some cases, surgery help patients with shoulder impingement. The purpose of surgery is to relieve the pressure and repair any tears in the rotator cuff.

If possible, Dr. Diao will operate on the shoulder arthroscopically. This means that he’ll make a small incision in the shoulder and insert a thin camera into the joint to visualize the area. Through additional small incisions, he’ll insert small surgical instruments that he can use to make repairs. Surgical instrument that he can use to perform decompression of tight spaces around the shoulder and rotator cuff, and or more repairs.

If arthroscopic surgery isn’t appropriate, Dr. Diao will perform an open procedure instead. In an open procedure, he’ll make a larger incision so he can see the inside of the joint without a camera.


Do all patients need surgery?


Not all patients with shoulder impingement syndrome need surgery. Before scheduling surgery, Dr. Diao may recommend conservative treatments, such as steroid injections, medication, and physical therapy. However, if these conservative measures aren’t successful, or if your rotator cuff is already torn, you may need surgery.


Is shoulder impingement surgery safe?


Shoulder impingement surgery carries some risks, including a risk of infection or excessive bleeding. There’s also a small risk of damage to nearby tissues during the procedure. In general, arthroscopic surgery carries fewer risks than open surgery. Dr. Diao will explain all risks in detail before the procedure.





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