James G. Lopez, BS, Michael D. Ernst, PhD, Thomas W. Wright, MD
Acromioplasty: Comparison of Outcome in Patients With and Without Workers’ Compensation
ABSTRACT: Acromioplasty was performed on 24 shoulders in 23 patients who had a diagnosis of impingement syndrome/rotator cuff tendinopathy. Ten patients were female and 13 were male; mean age was 52.3 years. Patients were divided into two groups, depending on whether they were receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Clinical outcomes were evaluated preoperatively and at follow-up postoperatively using the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Shoulder Rating Scale. All patients had bursectomy, anterior inferior acromioplasty,
and coracoacromial ligament release. The two groups showed significantly different postoperative results in terms of pain, function, strength of forward flexion, and total score, with the workers’ compensation group consistently having a lower functional score. Pain did improve significantly for workers’ compensation patients over the course of treatment, but relief was not nearly as complete as in the noncompensated group. A positive response to a shoulder bursa steroid injection, even if temporary, was a good predictor of final outcome after an acromioplasty.