Shoulder impingement occurs when bone spurs rub on the rotator cuff. When the arm is in the overhead position this can cause pain. This may also contribute to rotator cuff tearing over time.
Many patients with impingement can be treated nonoperatively with activity modification, exercises and physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and a steroid injection. If these measures are not successful, then patients may be candidates for arthroscopic surgery. During this surgery, the bone spurs can be removed from the acromion and the bursa can be cleaned out. This can be done in a minimally invasive arthroscopic fashion on an outpatient basis.