Subcoracoid impingement syndrome: A painful shoulder condition related to different pathologic factors

Raffaele Garofalo, Marco Conti, Giuseppe Massazza, Eugenio Cesari, Enzo Vinci, Alessandro Castagna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Subcoracoid impingement syndrome represents a rare cause of shoulder pain. To date, there are a few papers in literature that have addressed specifically the subcoracoid impingement. We reviewed 13 consecutive patients suffering from this syndrome who underwent an arthroscopic treatment. There were 4 men and 9 women with a mean age of 45 years (range, 23-58 years). The diagnosis of subcoracoid impingement was carried out on the basis of clinical examination and magnetic resonance imaging finding. Arthroscopic surgery consisted of a coracoplasty alone in 2 patients, coracoplasty and acromioplasty in 2 patients, coracoplasty and subscapularis tendon repair in 4 patients, and in the last 5 patients no coracoplasty was done and surgery consisted in treating a minor shoulder instability. Patients were reviewed at a mean follow-up of 2.4 ± 0.7 years. We evaluated the difference between preoperative and final postoperative range of motion, VAS, UCLA, SST and Constant score using a Student's t test. At follow-up, we observed a significant improvement in range of motion and shoulder scores; moreover, clinical findings of subcoracoid impingement were negative in all patients. Different pathological shoulder conditions can be responsible for a subcoracoid impingement that can be primary or secondary to factors different from mechanic attrition against the coracoid because of its morphology. In case of primary impingement, coracoplasty is a good treatment to relieve clinical symptoms. In patients suffering from an associated minor shoulder instability with MGHL capsulolabral lesion, surgical treatment of this lesion without coracoplasty led to the improvement in symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMusculoskeletal Surgery
Issue numberSUPP
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Coracoplasty
  • Impingement
  • Minor instability
  • Shoulder
  • Subcoracoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)


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