Skip to Content

Arthroscopic Acromioplasty


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


The week before your procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare. Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure. The person should plan to stay with you until the anesthesia wears off.
  • Tell your provider about all the medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicine before the procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of the procedure.
  • You may need an x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI before your procedure. You may be given contrast liquid to help healthcare providers see your shoulder more clearly. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.

The night before your procedure:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your procedure:

  • Take only the medicines your healthcare provider told you to take.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • An IV will be placed into a vein. You may get medicine or liquids through the IV.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb your shoulder area during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.


What will happen:

A small incision will be made in your shoulder. Your surgeon will insert a scope through the incision. He or she may make more small incisions to insert other surgical tools. Your surgeon will shave down the parts of your bone that are pressing on your tendons. He or she may remove swollen or damaged tissue in your shoulder. He or she may need to fix a tear in your rotator cuff. Your incisions will be closed with stitches or medical glue.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you may be able to go home.


  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.


Your surgeon may need to make a larger incision during the procedure. You may bleed more than expected, bruise, or develop an infection. You may have stiffness or trouble moving your arm and shoulder. You may have numbness and tingling in your arm. After the procedure, you may still have weakness and pain. Your tendon may tear again, and you may need another procedure.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.