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The space between the top of your upper arm and the small bone attached to the top of your shoulder is called the acromial space. Sometimes repetitive overhead activities such as golf or reaching overhead cause swelling or irritation in this area. If conservative treatment for pain in your acromial area is not successful your consultant may recommend subacromial decompression.

What happens during subacromial decompression?

Subacromial decompression is usually performed under general anaesthetic and usually takes about one hour. Most surgeons perform this procedure arthroscopically.

Your surgeon will make several small incisions (cuts) around your shoulder area. A miniature telescope is inserted into the joint area providing full view via a monitor. Other surgical instruments are inserted to clean the area and repair any damaged tendons. Any wounds will be closed using stitches or steri-strips.

After subacromial decompression

Most patients are able to go home once the effects of general anaesthetic have worn off. Please be sure and arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be able to drive until released to do so by your surgeon.

You will be given medication to help control any pain. Continue to take your medication as prescribed. Icing your shoulder may help ease any discomfort.

Your arm may be in a sling. This can usually be discarded 1-2 weeks after surgery. Physiotherapy will help you strengthen your shoulder muscles and increase range of motion.

It can take 6-9 months to fully recover from subacromial decompression. Be sure and discuss any return to work with your consultant.

Most people make a good recovery from subacromial decompression. As with any surgery there can be complications:

Specific complications of subacromial decompression may include:

  • Persistent stiffness or pain
  • Damage to shoulder blade or joint
  • Nerve damage
  • Fracture following surgery (rare)
Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment
Bournemouth  

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
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Brentwood  

Shenfield Road, Brentwood, CM15 8EH

01277 695695
Overall rating Good
Brighton  

Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6DX

01273 624488
Overall rating Meeting standards
Bristol  

3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN

0117 906 4870
Overall rating Good
Cardiff and Vale  

Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavey Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN

02920 836700
Cheltenham  

Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SY

01242 246 500
Overall rating Good
Chester  

Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP

01244 680 444
Overall rating Good
Chichester  

78 Broyle Road, Chichester, PO19 6WB

01243 530600
Overall rating Good
Derby  

Rykneld Road, Derby, DE23 4SN

01332 540100
Overall rating Good
Exeter  

Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG

01392 262110
Overall rating Good
Glasgow  

25 Beaconsfield Road, Glasgow, G12 0PJ

01413349441
Guildford  

Stirling Road, Guildford, GU2 7RF

01483 555805
Overall rating Good
Hereford  

Venns Lane, Hereford, HR1 1DF

01432 355 131
Overall rating Good
Ipswich  

Foxhall Road, Ipswich, IP4 5SW

01473 279100
Overall rating Good
Leeds  

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

01133 882 067
Overall rating Outstanding
Leicester  

Scraptoft Lane, Leicester, LE5 1HY

0116 2769 401
Overall rating Good
Newcastle upon Tyne  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

0191 281 6131
Overall rating Good
North Staffordshire  

Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB

01782 625431
Overall rating Good
Plymouth  

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775861
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Shrewsbury  

Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

01743 282628
Overall rating Good
Taunton  

Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN

01823 286991
Overall rating Good
Tees  

Junction Road, Norton, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1PX

01642 367439
Overall rating Outstanding
Tunbridge Wells  

Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

01892 531111
Overall rating Good
Warwickshire  

The Chase, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW

01926 436351
Overall rating Good
Wessex  

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2DW

02380 266 377
Overall rating Good
Woking  

Shores Road, Woking, GU21 4BY

01483 227800
Overall rating Good
Wolverhampton  

Wood Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8LE

01902 754 177
Overall rating Good
York  

Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA

01904 715000
Overall rating Good

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