One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is shoulder impingement. This condition occurs when there is loss of subacromial space leading to compression of the rotator cuff tendons and pain while engaging in overhead activities. This may be due to inflammation of the tendons or bursa or may also be caused by bony overgrowths. Shoulder impingement causes the bones and tendons of the shoulder to rub painfully against each other when the arm is raised.
If your symptoms do not improve following a course of conservative treatment with anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy, your doctor may recommend subacromial decompression, or acromioplasty. Subacromial decompression surgery is performed specifically to treat shoulder impingement, and can be performed minimally invasively with an arthroscope or by an open incision technique.