COVID-19 UPDATE: Regenexx is committed to the health and safety of our patients. You may now be seen in clinic or via telemedicine for virtual/online or phone visits.
LEARN MORE
Our physicians are available via telemedicine to continue to give you the care you need during this difficult time. Learn more.

Acromioplasty: Why This Frequent Addition to Rotator Cuff Surgery Is Usually a Bad Idea

By /

Receive a Regenexx® Patient Info Packet by email and learn why it's a superior regenerative solution.

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

Acromioplasty and Rotator Cuff Surgery Recovery Time

Acromioplasty: To Chop a Shoulder or Not Chop a Shoulder…That Is the Question

Is acromioplasty a beneficial addition to rotator cuff surgery, and is recovery time impacted by this addition to shoulder surgery? One of the big issues with rotator cuff surgery is the long recovery time spent in an immobilizer brace. Unfortunately, the more procedures a surgeon performs during the surgery (including the addition of acromioplasty), the longer the recovery time.

What Is Acromioplasty?

Unlike many of the surgeries that I think about on a regular basis, acromioplasty is a shoulder surgery that on the surface makes a lot of sense and has always seemed well-intentioned to me. However, like a large number of surgeries that look reasonable on paper, acromioplasty has a number of unintended consequences.

Acromioplasty surgery is performed based on the concept that the shoulder rotator cuff is being pressed upon (impinged) by the bones and ligaments above the rotator cuff. The surgeon will cut these ligaments and shave down a piece of the acromion, which is a bone that sticks out of the front part of the shoulder blade. The major concern is that these ligaments are also some of the major stabilizers of the shoulder, so when you cut them, you end up with an unstable and sloppy shoulder, which is a slippery slope to shoulder arthritis and other rotator cuff injuries.

For more on the long-term implications of instability in ANY joint, download the Regenexx e-book, Orthopedics 2.0. It’s free and it’s a best seller on Amazon.

The Implications of Acromioplasty as an Add-On to Rotator Cuff Surgery

Is it really necessary to cut these ligaments, especially considering that this additional procedure may add to a patient’s rotator cuff surgery recovery time? A high-level study set out to answer that question. The study randomized patients into one group where a rotator cuff tear was repaired and another where the surgeon added an acromioplasty. The result was that there was no outcome advantage to shaving down the bone and cutting these important ligaments. And as you can imagine, all of the additional work and trauma that goes into a procedure like acromioplasty also results in a longer and more difficult recovery period for the patient.

The upshot? If you’re planning on getting your rotator cuff tear repaired through surgery, talk to your surgeon before he or she cuts out these important structures. But even before that, consider rotator cuff stem cell injections or platelet rich plasma before shoulder surgery, as this dramatically reduces recovery time and is an excellent alternative for a large number of patients who fall into the “rotator cuff tear” category.

In the uncommon circumstance where there is severe impingement by an extra-large acromion bone or very large bone spurs, acromioplasty may be a good option to help resolve the problem.

To find out if you might be a candidate for a Regenexx stem cell procedure, complete our Regenexx Procedure Candidate Form online.

Category: Shoulder

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet

REGENEXX WEBINARS

Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar

RECEIVE BLOG ARTICLES BY EMAIL

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog

CONTACT US

9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021
888-525-3005

FOLLOW US

Copyright © Regenexx 2020. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.

LinkedIn
Email