Narrowness of the space below the acromion may cause wear and irritate the tendons that move the shoulder. As a result of the friction, the tendon becomes inflamed causing pain and aching even when not moved, and often movement limitations. If exercises do not produce the desired improvement, a decompression surgery of the acromion (acromioplasty) is performed.


The operation is usually performed using keyhole surgery under regional anaesthesia and/or general anaesthesia. In the surgery, the lower part of the acromion causing the compression is removed.


The outcome of the operation depends greatly on how dutifully you keep exercising the shoulder joint. The mobility of the joint should be normal 4–8 weeks after the surgery. However, the healing process lasts for months after the operation.

You should start with the movement exercises of the shoulder joint immediately after the operation as permitted by the pain, increasing the exercises gradually.

Wound care

After the first 24 hours you can shower.

A) No infusor pump: remove the bandages before taking the shower. Redress the wound after showering.

B) If an infusor pump for local anaesthetic is used you need to keep the wound area dry. You can shower normally the day after the removal of the infusor pump ( three days after the operation). First remove the wound dressings.

The sutures will be removed after 7-12  days at your health centre, occupational health centre, or health clinic (neuvola).You can go to the sauna the day after the removal.

Treatment of pain

The local anaesthesia of the shoulder is a part of the pain relief, and it lasts several hours, even up to the evening. At the final stage of the surgery, a thin tube may be inserted into the shoulder. The tube is connected to a pain relief pump (see the guide for the pain relief pump).

Additionally, it is recommended that you take pain killers regularly for 1–4 days and after that when necessary.

The shoulder may be swollen after the surgery. Ice packs and pain killers reduce the swelling and pain, contributing to recovery. A sling is used as pain management for a few days to two weeks after the operation.

Follow-up visit is with the physician after approximately 4 weeks.

Contact us

If you experience inflammatory symptoms (increasing pain, heavy swelling, warmth, redness, continuous wound discharge) or other problems, contact your health centre or treating unit.  

  • Day Surgery Unit
  • Emergency Department at other times
  • Your own health centre or occupational health centre
10/17/2019 päiväkirurgia 2