Acromioplasty is considered a technically simple procedure but has become controversial with regard to its indications and therapeutic value.Methods:
Two complementary databases were used to ascertain the frequency of acromioplasty over a recent span of time. In Part A, the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) ambulatory surgery database was searched from 1996 to 2006 to identify all ambulatory surgery acromioplasties as well as all orthopaedic ambulatory surgery procedures. In Part B, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) database was searched from 1999 to 2008 to identify all arthroscopic acromioplasties as well as all orthopaedic procedures.Results:
Part A revealed that in 1996 there were 5571 acromioplasties in New York State, representing a population incidence of 30.0 per 100,000. In 2006 there were 19,743 acromioplasties, representing a population incidence of 101.9 per 100,000. Over these eleven years, the volume of acromioplasties increased by 254.4%, compared with only a 78.3% increase in the volume of all orthopaedic ambulatory surgery procedures. In 2006, as compared with 1996, patients were 2.4 times more likely to have an acromioplasty compared with all other orthopaedic ambulatory procedures (p < 0.0001). Part B revealed that, in 1999, a mean of 2.6 arthroscopic acromioplasties were reported per candidate for Board certification. In 2008 a mean of 6.3 arthroscopic acromioplasties per candidate were reported. Over these ten years, the mean number of arthroscopic acromioplasties reported increased by 142.3%, compared with only a 13.0% increase in the mean number of all orthopaedic surgery procedures. In 2008, as compared with 1999, candidates were 2.2 times more likely to report an arthroscopic acromioplasty compared with all other orthopaedic procedures (p < 0.0001).Conclusions:
There has been a substantial increase in the overall volume and the population-based incidence of acromioplasties in recent years on both the state and national levels in the United States. The reasons for this increase have yet to be determined and are likely multifactorial, with patient-based, surgeon-based, and systems-based factors all playing a role.