Shoulder Impingement Specialist
Are you an athlete who participates in sports that involve throwing overhead? If so, you may be at risk of developing shoulder impingement. One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is shoulder impingement. Shoulder impingement specialist, Doctor Benedict Nwachukwu provides diagnosis as well as surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Manhattan, New York City, NY who have developed impingement syndrome. Contact Dr. Nwachukwu’s team today!
What is shoulder impingement?
Shoulder impingement, also called impingement syndrome is one of the more common causes of shoulder pain. It occurs when the tendon of the rotator cuff rubs against the top of the scapula’s acromion (the bony process on the shoulder blade). This relationship causes inflammation in the subacromial space, which in turn, causes a thickening of the tendons and bursae (fluid-filled sacs) between the bones of the shoulder. As part of shoulder impingement there is less space available for the tendons to move between the boney surfaces. This results in a pinching of the tendon and bursa between the bones. This can be a very painful condition for patients in Manhattan, New York City and the surrounding New York boroughs. Benedict Nwachukwu, MD, orthopedic shoulder specialist, is skilled at diagnosing and treating individuals with shoulder impingement, returning them to a pain free lifestyle.
What causes shoulder impingement?
Impingement syndrome can often be a result of shoulder overuse. Repetitive motions overhead may increase the risk for injury. Inflamed shoulder bursa caused by an injury or trauma may also contribute to shoulder impingement. As the tissue thickens from irritation, it takes up more space in the shoulder and mechanical symptoms can occur causing rubbing, grinding, catching or pinching. Patients who are more susceptible to shoulder impingement are swimmers, gymnasts, baseball pitchers, or workers who continually lift items overhead.
What are the symptoms of impingement syndrome?
Pain is often the first symptom of shoulder impingement. Other symptoms include:
- Stiffness in the shoulder
- Inability to reach behind the back
- Shoulder weakness
- Dull or minor ache in the shoulder
- Pain that can radiate from the shoulder to the elbow
- Pain that worsens at night or while sleeping on the affected side
How is shoulder impingement diagnosed?
The condition of shoulder impingement and bursitis can get worse, causing more pain over time. Patients in New York who are experiencing shoulder impingement symptoms should seek medical advice promptly to avoid further damage. When treated early, Dr. Nwachukwu can help patients minimize discomfort or further swelling. Shoulder impingement and bursitis can be easily diagnosed by a history and physical examination and the condition may require an X-ray or MRI scan to rule out other possible injuries.
How is shoulder impingement treated?
Dr. Nwachukwu prefers a conservative approach when treating shoulder impingement and has found that the condition responds positively to non-surgical treatments such as:
- Rest – Taking time off from the activities that have inflamed the bursa and shoulder tissue can reduce painful symptoms
- NSAIDs – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy – to strengthen surrounding muscles and tendons
- Corticosteroid injection into the bursa and subacromial space – acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and can promote healing within the joint.
Any time shoulder pain related to impingement persists, a thorough evaluation should be performed by Dr. Nwachukwu to make sure that the persistence of pain is not due to a rotator cuff tendon tear. If non-surgical treatment has failed to alleviate pain, Dr. Nwachukwu may recommend a surgical approach. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive option whereby a small surgical camera is placed inside the joint and small, special surgical instruments are used to clean up bone spurs or any other irregularities within the shoulder. The goal is to give the tendons room within the joint, so that they are not irritated or pinched. Arthroscopic surgery allows for more rapid healing and a quick return to normal activities.
For more information regarding shoulder impingement, swimmer’s shoulder or bursitis, please contact the office of Benedict Nwachukwu, MD, orthopedic shoulder specialist serving Manhattan, New York City and surrounding New York boroughs.