Declining incidence of acromioplasty in FinlandJuha Paloneva, Vesa Lepola, Jaro Karppinen, Jari Ylinen, Ville Äärimaa & Ville M Mattila
Background and purpose — An increased incidence rate of acromioplasty has been reported; we analyzed data from the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register.
Patients and methods — During the 14-year study period (1998–2011), 68,877 acromioplasties without rotator cuff repair were performed on subjects aged 18 years or older.
Results — The incidence of acromioplasty increased by 117% from 75 to 163 per 105 person years between 1998 and 2007. The highest incidence was observed in 2007, after which the incidence rate decreased by 20% to 131 per 105 person years in 2011. The incidence declined even more at non-profit public hospitals from 2007 to 2011. In contrast, it continued to rise at profit-based private orthopedic clinics.
Interpretation — We propose that this change in clinical practice is due to accumulating high-quality scientific evidence that shows no difference in outcome between acromioplasty and non-surgical interventions for rotator cuff disease with subacromial impingement syndrome. However, the exact cause of the declining incidence cannot be defined based solely on a registry study. Interestingly, this change was not observed at private clinics, where the number of operations increased steadily from 2007 to 2011.