Sometimes, the rotator cuff tendons do not have enough room for moving underneath the shoulder blade, or the acromion. This can lead to impingement, or rubbing of the tendon against the bone that causes the tendon to break down. Sometimes this process can even lead to a full-thickness rotator cuff tear. In a decompression procedure, the bone of the shoulder blade is thinned slightly using arthroscopic tools to create more room for the tendons. Bone spurs are trimmed away. The rough edges of the tendon are cleaned up or debrided. This procedure eliminates the rubbing of the tendon against the bone and stops further damage from occurring. Ideally, the procedure can be performed before the tendon impingement progresses to a full-thickness tear, since a decompression procedure has a much faster recovery than a rotator cuff repair.
For more information about Decompression surgery in the shoulder, please visit:
Shoulder Arthroscopy (AAOS Orthoinfo)