Subacromial Impingement

The acromion is an arch-shaped bone ridge, which passes above the humeral head and the rotator cuff. When osteophytes (bone beaks) develop, the acromion can become aggressive for the tendons of the cuff and cause a painful inflammation : the subacromial impingement

Subacromial impingement is a common cause of consultation for shoulder pain.
Your diagnosis requires a clinical examination during which your surgeon will seek a painful "hang" felt when the head of the humerus comes in contact with the acromion

An X-ray can be used to evaluate bone status and possible positional defaults in the joint, while an ultrasound or MRI can be used to evaluate possible tissue and cartilage lesions. Inquire in advance is mandatory in order to perform the most suitable examination.

Below, an animation to better understand the mechanism of subacromial impingement (in French)

Treatment options

Medical treatment

Subacromial impingement is treated with rehabilitation in the first instance, which goal will be to restore muscle imbalance to prevent the humeral head from coming into contact with the acromion.
The pain can be relieved by analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications, supplemented if necessary by subacromial injection.

Surgical treatment

If medical treatment is unsuccessful, surgery may be proposed to eliminate osteophytic beaks. During surgery, called acromioplasty, the surgeon will also check the condition of the tendons of the rotator cuff.

At the Bordeaux-Merignac Sport Clinic, this procedure is performed under arthroscopy and as an outpatient basis