Anterior Acromioplasty for the Chronic Impingement Syndrome in the Shoulder
Authors: Charles S. Neer, II
References: JBJS Vol. 54-A, pp. 41-50, January 1972
Impingement on the tendinous portion of the rotator cuff by the coracoacromial ligament and the anterior third of the acromion is responsible for a characteristic syndrome of disability of the shoulder. A characteristic proliferative spur and ridge has been noted on the anterior lip and undersurface of the anterior process of the acromion and this area may also show erosion and eburnation. The treatment of the impingement is to remove the anterior edge and undersurface of the anterior part of the acromion with the attached coracoacromial ligament. The impingement may also involve the tendon of the long head of the biceps and if it does, it is best to decompress the tendon and remove any osteophytes which may be in its groove, but to avoid transplanting the biceps tendon if possible. Hypertrophic lipping at the acromio-clavicular joint may impinge on the supraspinatus tendon when the arm is in abduction and, if the lip is prominent, this joint should be resected. These are the principles of anterior acromioplasty.