Patients with shoulder impingement remain satisfied 6 years after arthroscopic subacromial decompression: a prospective study of 46 patients

Acta Orthop. 2011 Dec;82(6):711-3. doi: 10.3109/17453674.2011.623571. Epub 2011 Oct 17.


Background: Although arthroscopic subacromial decompression (ASD) is a common procedure for treatment of shoulder impingement, few long term results have been published. In this prospective study, we determined whether the high degree of patient satisfaction at 6 months postoperatively reported by us earlier remained at the 6-year follow-up.

Patients and methods: We originally reported high patient satisfaction 6 months after ASD for shoulder impingement in 50 prospectively studied patients using the Disability of the Arm Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH) and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Patients with associated shoulder disorders were excluded. The surgeons were experienced shoulder arthroscopists. 6 years after surgery, the DASH questionnaire and the VAS were sent to these 50 patients. 2 patients had other medical problems of the upper extremity that affected the DASH and VAS scores, 1 patient was lost to follow-up, and another refused to participate. Thus, 46 patients with a mean age of 55 (33-78) years were included in this 6-year evaluation.

Results: The considerable improvement in both the DASH score and the VAS that was observed 6 months after surgery persisted or had even improved 6 years after surgery.

Interpretation: Properly selected patients with shoulder impingement treated with ASD remain satisfied 6 years after surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroscopy* / methods
  • Decompression, Surgical* / methods
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome