Complications and failures of open and arthroscopic acromioplasties

Dana G. Seltzer, Michael A. Wirth, Charles A. Rockwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Controversy exists over the optimal method of surgical treatment for chronic impingement refractory to conservative treatment. Success comparable with the "gold standard" open anterior acromioplasty has been reported using arthroscopic techniques, but failures and complications have been reported with both modes of operative intervention. Overall, the percentage of satisfactory results differs only slightly by approach, and the causes of failure can be divided into three categories: (1) diagnostic failures, (2) treatment failures, and (3) complications. The keys to obtaining a successful result are making the correct diagnosis and performing a technically sound procedure while avoiding complications. This issue is of importance, because operative treatment of patients with failed acromioplasties offers inferior results to primary acromioplasty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-150
Number of pages15
JournalOperative Techniques in Sports Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • anterior acromioplasty
  • arthroscopic subacromial decompression
  • complications
  • deltoid
  • failures
  • impingement
  • rotator cuff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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