What is acromioplasty? How will it help my shoulder?

With acromioplasty, surgeons shave part of the acromion bone on the point of the shoulder. A ligament over the top of the shoulder is cut, and injured tissues are removed. This procedure is sometimes done to treat pinched tissues in the shoulder (called shoulder impingement). It is also used to treat tears in the rotator cuff. Acromioplasty can be done using an arthroscope. This slender instrument has a camera on the end that allows surgeons to work without making big incisions in the skin.

Athroscopic acromioplasty is a less invasive procedure than open shoulder repairs, which require large incisions. For shoulder impingement and minor rotator cuff tears, acromioplasty has good results. Five years later, most patients have pain relief. They also have normal strength and motion in the shoulder.

For rotator cuff tears, acromioplasty works best on minor tears and those on the undersurface of the tendon. Talk with your doctor about how this procedure may help in your case.