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1987 Publications

Arthroscopic Treatment of Subacromial Impingementby Francis X. Mendoza, MD, James A. Nicholas, MD, and Michael P. Rubinstein, MDFrom the Department of Orthopedics, Lenox Hill Hospital. New York, New York - last modified 2013-02-09 00:00
Clinics in Sports Medicine-Vol. 6, No. 3, July 1987


The impingement syndrome of the shoulder has long been recognized as a disabling disorder. Athletes of all ages who engage in repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing, racquet sports, weightlifting and swimming, are potentially affected.

In 1972, Neer characterized the impingement syndrome of the shoulder as originating from mechanical compression of the rotator cuff under the subacromial arch. Over the years, he further elucidated the syndrome by proposing clinical stages of the disease that correlated with age and progression of subacromial pathology. Treatment depended upon the stage of impingement and varied from conservative to an open decompression with repair of a rotator cuff tear.

During recent years, arthroscopic techniques have been employed with varying success for many shoulder conditions. In order to effectively employ arthroscopic techniques for a subacromial decompression, a thorough understanding of the impingement syndrome and its clinical manifestations is necessary. Our preliminary experience with the arthroscopic subacromial decompression, as described by Ellman, suggests excellent results with early return to competitive athletics.