AC Joint

Last updated September 2018

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Most of the acromio clavicular joint has been covered in the main page.  It is a funny little joint on the outer end of the collar bone which usually settles without surgery.  Injuries to it are very common, but the symptoms almost invariably settle or are manageable.  Dislocation similarly will leave a lump permanently, but usually the shoulder function will return to absolutely normal.  We do have operations for problems in the joint and we can now usually do them with a key hole procedure rather than doing an old fashioned open operation.  Perhaps surprisingly, the commonest & most reliable operation is simply to remove the joint, this does not usually lead to any weakness in the shoulder as the strong ligaments around the acromio clavicular joint can take on the strain.  If the ligaments have been torn as usually happens following a dislocation then this does need an operation to reconstruct them. There is no point removing the end of the collar bone to remove pain if the stump that is left continues to be wobbly and unstable.  This is a routine procedure which involves tying the collar bone down onto the shoulder blade often using a tendon graft taken from behind the knee and is very successful indeed. New techniques have been developed making it now often possible to do this using a keyhole technique. 

Keyhole excision of AC joint

Oswestry Sports Injury Surgery

Acromioclavicular dislocation
Keyhole excision of AC joint

Before and after Keyhole excision of AC joint

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