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Arthroscopic Acromioplasty

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.

Arthroscopic acromioplasty is a procedure used to smooth out a part of your scapula (shoulder blade) called the acromion. Your healthcare provider will insert a scope to see inside your shoulder. A scope is a small, bendable tube with a camera on the end.

Shoulder Anatomy


Call your doctor or surgeon if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You have severe pain.
  • Your incision comes open.
  • You cannot move your arm or hand.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have worse pain in your shoulder, even after you take medicine.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • Your arm or hand is numb or tingling.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Wear your sling:

The sling helps keep your arm from moving so your shoulder can heal. A small pillow attached to the sling will hold your arm slightly away from your body. This position decreases pressure and pain.

Shoulder Sling

Apply ice:

Apply ice on your shoulder for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.

Wound care:

Care for your wound as directed. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. If you have medical glue on your incisions, it will fall off on its own. Gently dry the area with a clean towel. If you have a bandage, dry the area and put on a new, clean bandage as directed. Change your bandage when it gets wet or dirty.

Go to physical therapy, if directed:

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Ask about activity:

Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to work and your usual daily activities.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or surgeon as directed:

You may need to return to have your stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.