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The results of arthroscopic subacromial decompression have been well documented. Ellman was one of the first to publish results comparable with the previous good results seen with an open technique. His subsequent 2 to 5 year results yielded on overall 89% satisfaction.

These excellent results have been reproduced and expanded upon in terms of patient numbers and length of follow-up by numerous authors validating arthroscopic decompression as an effective treatment for subacromial impingement. Successful outcomes can be expected in approximately 90% of cases.

ASAD for impingement symptoms in the face of mild to moderate glenohumeral degenerative joint disease has been shown to be effective in improving shoulder functiontherefore, these changes should not be considered a contraindication for decompression. Radiographically severe degenerative joint disease has, however, had less predictable results.

A limited subacromial decompression has also been recommended by several authors in patients with a massive irrepairable rotator cuff tear. A reverse decompression or tuberoplasty has also yielded good results in patients with massive rotator cuff tears.

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