Acromio-clavicular Joint Arthritis

What is Acromio-clavicular joint arthritis?

Acromio-clavicular joint or AC joint arthritis is damage to the joint which is formed by your clavicle and part of your scapular (shoulder blade). It is a small joint with little movement and contains a small fibro-cartilagenous disc. AC joint arthritis is very common but not commonly symptomatic.

Care First Orthopaedic - AC Joint Arthritis

What are the symptoms of AC joint arthritis?

AC joint arthritis causes pain. This pain is localised usually over the AC joint, it can be constant, worse at night and worsened with movement over shoulder height. There may be crepitus or instability associated being experienced as “pops” or “cracks”.

What causes AC joint arthritis?

Like most arthritis’s, acromio-clavicular arthritis is primarily caused by wear and tear. It can be cause by trauma or injury, instability and infections.

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How do you treat AC joint arthritis?

AC joint arthritis can be treated non operatively quite well with:

For cases in which non operative treatment has failed, surgery may be warranted. This involves an arthroscopic (keyhole) procedure in which the end of the clavicle bone is excised, approximately 5-10mm.

This takes a joint which is “bone on bone” and creates a space or buffer so the pain is eliminated. It is a small day procedure which take less than 30 minutes. Post operatively you can use your arm immediately. The pain will settle over the first few weeks.
Care First Orthopaedic - AC Joint Arthritis Treatment

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