II. Course

  1. Step 1: Small cuff tears from repetitive use injury (Athlete, Heavy Laborer)
  2. Step 2: Tendon scarring and thickening
  3. Step 3: Secondary irritation of overlying bursa
  4. Step 4: Thickened tendon and bursa (decreases sub-acromial space)
  5. Step 5: Impingement pain and crepitus (Provoked with abduction)

III. Symptoms

  1. Pain worse at night
  2. Shoulder tenderness and atrophy
  3. Unable to lie on affected Shoulder
  4. Locking Sensation with abduction
  5. Referred pain to deltoid
  6. Patient automatically turns palm up on abduction
    1. Externally rotates Shoulder
    2. Gives rotator cuff more room
  7. Active "palm down" abduction is painful

IV. Signs

  1. Supraspinatus insertion maximally tender
  2. Acromioclavicular Joint Pain from degenerative disease
  3. Muscle Strength intact
  4. Pain and crepitation
    1. Pain worse between 60 to 120 degrees abduction
    2. Soft tissue maximally compressed in subacromial space
  5. Shoulder Impingement Signs
    1. See Shoulder Evaluation

V. Imaging: Shoulder XRay

  1. Sclerosis at tuberosity may be seen
  2. Hook Acromion (Types 2-3) associated with impingement

VII. Management

  1. Relative Rest
    1. Avoid complete rest especially in older patients
      1. Risk of Frozen Shoulder
    2. Avoid excessive use
    3. Avoid all overhead work
    4. Sling for very limited time if necessary
  2. NSAIDs
  3. Moist heat applied 4 times daily
  4. Corticosteroid Injection at subacromial space
  5. Physical Therapy
    1. Local Ultrasound or Diathermy
    2. Phonophoresis (Ultrasound with Cortisone Cream)
  6. Exercise
    1. Shoulder Range of Motion Exercises

VIII. Prognosis

  1. Anticipate improvement in 3 to 5 weeks
  2. Delayed improvement suggests Rotator Cuff Rupture

IX. Management: Surgery

  1. Reserved for cases failing conservative treatment
  2. Procedures
    1. Partial acromion excision
    2. Release of obstructive soft tissue
    3. Repair of Rotator Cuff Tears

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