Shoulder Decompression

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From £3194

Shoulder (Subacromial) decompression is an operation on your shoulder which treats a condition called shoulder impingement, where you feel pain when you raise your arm.

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder impingement is a common type of shoulder pain which occurs when the tendons within your rotator cuff (which surrounds and supports your shoulder) become damaged. Causes of shoulder impingement may include:

  • ‘wear and tear’ or overuse resulting in your tendons becoming swollen or torn
  • the shape of the bone at the top of your shoulder blade (the acromion), causing it to rub against your tendons
  • getting bony growths (spurs) on the acromion as you get older

Preparing for Subacromial Decompression

At Kingsbridge Private Hospital our expert orthopaedic consultant surgeons will prepare you for the operation and discuss what will happen before, during and after your procedure, and any pain you may have. You will probably have to have a general anaesthetic, so you will be asked to follow fasting instructions prior to the operation. Subacromial Decompression surgery is usually a day case procedure.

Alternatives to Subacromial Decompression

Shoulder pain has various causes and the symptoms can often be eased with other options such as self-help treatment, painkillers, or steroid joint injections.

Physiotherapy is also an option to help minimise pain and can help you get back to doing the things you love. At the Kingsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic, we offer triage, assessment, and treatment for a range of injuries. Subacromial Decompression will only be recommended if other treatments have not worked for you.

What happens during subacromial decompression?

Subacromial decompression is most often done as a keyhole procedure using a narrow, flexible, tube-like telescopic camera called an arthroscope which aims to make more space under your acromion by removing some of the bone and tissue from its underside.

What to expect after a subacromial decompression?

You will need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have passed. Let your nurse know if you are in pain. You will usually be able to go home when you feel ready, however someone else should drive you home. Before you leave hospital, your nurse will give you advice about caring for your wounds and tell you what to do about any stitches you have. You may need to keep your arm in a sling for a few days after your operation.


It usually takes up to four months to make a full recovery after a subacromial decompression procedure and you may need to see a physiotherapist after your operation.


Side-effects of subacromial decompression can include some pain and stiffness around your surgery after surgery. However, if you develop any further symptoms such as your wound bleeding or becoming red or swollen, or a high temperature please get in contact as this could indicate an infection.

If you would like to book an appointment or require further information on the available options, please do not hesitate to contact our private patient booking team via our online enquiry form.

Alternatively, email Kingsbridge Private Hospital

Treatment Locations

Healthcare Professionals & Consultants

Mr Tim Doyle

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Jim McConway

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Patient Journey

Find out what your journey will be from diagnosis to treatment

Self Funded Journey

Patient Testimonials

"I was in your facility yesterday for a day procedure (operation on my left arm). I wanted to write and express how impressed I was with the facilities and more importantly the staff on the Ward.

Everyone was excellent, and I mean excellent, i don't normally write congratulatory e-mails so this is high praise in my view. The Senior nurse was excellent, as was the Theatre nurse and the anaesthetist. Even the assistants that helped with catering and other duties. All came together to form a great impression of the establishment." Jason Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Kingsbridge Patient
"Amazing 5-star hospital.  Have had other surgery here before on my back.
Yesterday's was a neck disc replacement operation.  I would highly recommend this hospital like a hotel manner. Thanks again guys." Mr Phillips, Kingsbridge Patient
"As hospitals go this one is pretty amazing! Had surgery with Mr Molloy at the end of October and have another one the end of this month. Mr Molloy is a gentleman who puts you at ease right away and ensured my last procedure went smoothly! From start to finish all the hospital staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable and stress free as possible. The facilities are brilliant with the rooms spacious and modern to recover in. Keep up the good work!" Ms Roulston, Kingsbridge Patient
"Can’t praise Kingsbridge Private Hospital enough!! I had an operation a couple of weeks ago and I was so well looked after. My surgeon Mr Rashid was fantastic, and the nursing staff was also fabulous. I found they communicated very well to each other, so everyone knew when my meds were due, my allergies etc. They were so kind, so lovely, constantly checked to see how I was i.e. my temperature etc. The food was fabulous and the catering staff very helpful having had an operation were very happy to accommodate ... Thank you to all!" Ms Cheong, Kingsbridge Patient
"Currently just back from recovery on the ward. I have just had ACL reconstructive surgery on my left knee. What can I say? This place is brilliant. I arrived at 8.35am, taken to the ward at 8.45am (my admission time was 9am). Tended to by a lovely Nurse. Dr Roger Wilson spoke to me around 9.45am, in Theatre for 10am, recovery for 11.10am and now currently back on ward. These guys are awesome. From the consultant to anaesthetist to nurses to cater assistants. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much. I am so grateful to everyone at Kingsbridge for the service." Mr McNicholl, Kingsbridge Patient

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