What does the operation involve?
Shoulder surgery is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. However, a variety of anaesthetic techniques is possible. The operation usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.
Impingement is usually treated by arthroscopy (keyhole surgery). Your surgeon will use instruments to remove any thickened tissue, release any tight tissue and to shave off some bone.
Your surgeon may use open surgery to repair any tears. They will make a single cut on the front of your shoulder and they will repair the rotator cuff using stitches that anchor into the bone.
Are there any alternatives to surgery?
Most people with impingement or a small tear can get back good function by changing their activities and with the help of physiotherapy. Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can also help.
A steroid and local-anaesthetic injection into your shoulder can sometimes reduce pain. Although, if you have a large tear, it is likely that surgery is your only option to get back some strength in your shoulder.