Arthroscopic Repair of Full-Thickness Rotator Cuff Tears With and Without Acromioplasty: Randomized Prospective Trial With 2-Year Follow-up

Am J Sports Med. 2014 Jun;42(6):1296-303. doi: 10.1177/0363546514529091. Epub 2014 Apr 14.


Background: Acromioplasty is commonly performed during arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, but its effect on short-term outcomes is debated.

Purpose: To report the short-term clinical outcomes of patients undergoing arthroscopic repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears with and without acromioplasty.

Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: Patients undergoing arthroscopic repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears were randomized into acromioplasty or nonacromioplasty groups. The Simple Shoulder Test (SST), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Constant score, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) score, and Short Form-12 (SF-12) health assessment were collected along with physical examination including range of motion and dynamometer strength testing. Intraoperative data including tear size, repair configuration, and concomitant procedures were recorded. Follow-up examination was performed at regular intervals up to 2 years. Preoperative imaging was reviewed to classify the acromial morphologic type, acromial angle, and lateral acromial angulation.

Results: A total of 114 patients were initially enrolled in the study, and 95 (83%; 43 nonacromioplasty, 52 acromioplasty) were available for a minimum 2-year follow-up. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics, including number of tendons torn, repair configuration, concomitant procedures, and acromion type and angles. Within groups, there was a significant (P < .001) improvement in all functional outcome scores from preoperatively to all follow-up time points, including 2 years, for the nonacromioplasty and acromioplasty groups (ASES score: 55.1-91.5, 48.8-89.0; Constant score: 48.3-75.0, 51.9-78.7, respectively). There were no significant differences in functional outcomes between nonacromioplasty and acromioplasty groups or between subjects with different acromial features at any time point.

Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate no difference in clinical outcomes after rotator cuff repair with or without acromioplasty at 2 years postoperatively.

Keywords: acromion; acromioplasty; repair; rotator cuff; shoulder.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acromion / surgery*
  • Arthroscopy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Outcome Assessment*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries