Background: This study investigated the clinical and radiographic factors that influence outcome after arthroscopic subacromial decompression (ASAD) for shoulder impingement syndrome. The goal was to develop a new preoperative scoring system to identify patients who would have a prompt and sustained benefit from ASAD.
Methods: We prospectively reviewed 112 consecutive patients with impingement syndrome who subsequently underwent ASAD. The Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS) was recorded preoperatively and 3 and 12 months postoperatively. A statistically significant improvement in OSS at 3 months after surgery was considered a good outcome.
Results: The variables associated with good outcome were shoulder pain with overhead activities, persistent symptoms for more than 6 months, symptoms persistent despite a 3-month course of supervised physiotherapy, consistently positive Hawkins test result, radiologic changes of impingement on both acromion and humerus in the subacromial region, and improvement for more than 1 week after a steroid injection. These 6 criteria were combined into a single score for this study, termed the preoperative score (PrOS). Sixty-two patients who had been symptomatic for 1 year with a preoperative score of 5 to 6 showed significant improvement in OSS at 3 months after surgery (P < .001). Thirty-eight patients with a score 3 to 4 had no statistically significant improvement in OSS at 3 months but had a further slight improvement at 1 year. Twelve patients with a score of ≤2 had no significant improvement in OSS at 3 months or 1 year.
Conclusion: This scoring system can identify patients who would have a prompt benefit from ASAD. The impact of surgery in patients with a PrOS of ≤4 points is questionable.
Keywords: Arthroscopic subacromial decompression; impingement syndrome; scoring system.
Copyright © 2014 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.