Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Injury Treatment Goals and Options
- Icing the shoulder.
- Putting your arm in a sling to decrease motion.
- Taking NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to help with pain.
Does acromioclavicular require surgery?
Acromioclavicular or AC Joint Injury results from falling directly onto the point of the shoulder and is most commonly seen following a sporting accident. Mild injury results in pain at the top of the shoulder, short term restricted use of the arm, and does not require surgery.
What causes acromioclavicular injury?
The most common mechanism of injury is direct trauma to the lateral aspect of the shoulder or acromion process with the arm in adduction. Falling on an outstretched hand or elbow may also lead to AC joint separation.
How long does it take for an acromioclavicular joint injury to heal?
Most patients with AC joint injuries will start to feel better within a few days or a week of the injurybut it can take at least six weeks for the AC ligaments to fully heal.
What causes acromioclavicular joint arthritis?
The principal cause of AC joint arthrosis is wear and tear due to use. As a person uses his/her arm and shoulder, stress is placed on the joint. This stress produces wear and tear on the cartilage, the cartilage becomes worn over time, and eventually arthritis of the joint may occur.
How do you know if you need AC joint surgery?
If your shoulder separation is complete (grade 3 or higher) you are a candidate for surgery. This can easily be determined by a simple X-ray. An MRI is rarely indicated in evaluating this injury. Patients who are very active or have demanding occupations are more likely to be unhappy with nonsurgical care.
What is a Grade 3 acromioclavicular joint separation?
Grade 3Involves tearing of the joint covering (capsule) and ligaments connecting the shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle). Causes a mild to moderate permanent bump over the top of the shoulder at the AC joint. Pain typically lasts 4-8 weeks. Surgery is usually not required.
How long do you wear a sling after AC joint surgery?
After surgery, your shoulder will be held still with a sling. The sling is for used for 6 weeks but the time can vary depending on the specific surgery.
What are the signs and symptoms of an acromioclavicular joint injury?
Symptoms of an AC joint injury
- Shoulder or arm pain.
- A visible bump, bruise, or swelling on your shoulder.
- Limited shoulder mobility.
- Weakness in your shoulder or arm.
- Pain when lying on the affected side.
- A popping sound when you move your shoulder.
Where do you feel AC joint pain?
AC joint inflammation causes pain on the top of the shoulder, at the point where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the highest point of the shoulder blade (acromion). Pain may radiate to the lower part of the side of the neck or ear.
What are acromioclavicular joint injuries?
An AC joint injury describes an injury to the top of the shoulder. It occurs where the front of the shoulder blade (acromion) attaches to the collarbone (clavicle). Most often, trauma, such as a fall directly on the outside of the shoulder, causes an AC joint injury.
Will my AC joint ever heal?
Depending on how severe the injury is, it may heal adequately in two to three weeks. In severe cases, the shoulder may not heal without surgery.
Is AC joint Same as rotator cuff?
The shoulder joint is the connection between the bone in the arm and the shoulder blade. There actually is another joint in the shoulder too, called the AC joint, which unites the collarbone and the shoulder blade. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and the tendons that attach these muscles to the arm bone.
How should I sleep with AC joint pain?
Give these positions a try:
- Sit in a reclined position. You may find sleeping in a reclined position more comfortable than lying flat on your back. …
- Lie flat on your back with your injured arm propped up with a pillow. Using a pillow may help reduce stress and pressure on your injured side.
- Lie on your uninjured side.
What is mild acromioclavicular degenerative changes?
Acromioclavicular osteoarthritis is a type of shoulder arthritis that involves degenerative changes to the cartilage and other structures in the acromioclavicular jointleading to pain, stiffness, and weakness in the front of the shoulder.
What foods to avoid if you have AC joint arthritis?
Certain activities and exercise will aggravate the acromioclavicular joint. Weight lifting, golfing, and other exercise that requires cross-body arm movement should be avoided if they cause pain.
What does AC joint arthritis feel like?
Symptoms of AC arthritis Pain at the top of the shoulder that may spread to the side of the neck. Snapping or clicking sound as you move your shoulder. Limited range of motion, such as when lifting up your arm.
How much does acromioclavicular joint surgery cost?
The average arthroscopic shoulder surgery cost in the United States is $25,925, though prices can range from $6,900 to $31,650.
How successful is AC joint surgery?
What are the results of AC joint surgery? Most patients get excellent pain relief with this operation, and nearly 95 percent return to their preinjury level of activity and sports. There are few complications and most patients are very satisfied with the result.
What is acromioclavicular degeneration?
ACJ degeneration is a progressive problem where there is localised pain in the ACJ area. Tenderness is localised to the tip of the shoulder and a swelling may develop. It is usually painful to lie on the shoulder or perform activities which compress the ACJ.
What is a Grade 5 AC separation?
Grade 5Involves tearing of the joint covering (capsule) and ligaments connecting the shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle), and the end of the collar bone (clavicle) tears through the muscle covering (fascia) above it. Results in a large, permanent bump over the top of the shoulder at the AC joint.
What is a Grade 4 AC separation?
A grade 4 AC separation occurs when the clavicle is severely displaced posteriorly. It is defined as significant posterior displacement. The grade separation definition does not have any quantifiable distance as it is determined simply by the impression of the clinician.
Can you sprain your AC joint?
The AC joint is made of 4 ligaments that hold the collar bone to the shoulder blade, or scapula. With an AC joint sprain, these ligaments may be partly or fully torn. In both cases, this causes pain and swelling at the end of the collar bone. If the ligaments are completely torn, the collar bone will rise up.
What can you not do after AC joint surgery?
Avoid direct palpation and mobilization on incisions/portals for 4 weeks. DO NOT lift any objects over 5 pounds with the surgical arm for the first 6 weeks. AVOID EXCESSIVE reaching and external/internal rotation for the first 6 weeks.
What is acromioclavicular arthropathy?
What is ACJ Arthropathy / Arthritis? This is a painful degeneration of the Acromio-Clavicular (AC) Joint, where there is wear and tear of the articular cartilage of the ACJ giving rise to pain and difficulty in using the arm.
How can I speed up my AC joint recovery?
Treatment for AC joint sprain
- Rest. This allows your shoulder to heal. …
- Sling. This protects the shoulder and holds the joint in a good position for healing.
- Cold packs. These help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Prescription or over-the-counter pain medicines. …
- Arm and shoulder exercises.
How do you fix AC joint dysfunction?
In extreme cases, the joint can separate completely, causing pain and dysfunction in the shoulder requiring surgery. Luckily, most AC joint pain is the result of repetitive movement patterns with sub-optimal body mechanics and can be treated conservatively with rest, ice and exercise, no knives or needles necessary.
What should I avoid with AC joint injury?
Rest includes avoiding overhead reaching, reaching across the chest, lifting, leaning on the elbows, and sleeping directly on the shoulder. Range-of-motion exercises are recommended as soon as they can be tolerated. Range-of-motion exercises Range-of-motion exercises are recommended early in the recovery period.
How long does a Grade 1 AC sprain take to heal?
Grade 1 sprains, for example, typically begin to heal within one to two weeks, with most patients resuming normal activity shortly thereafter. Grade 2 sprains generally take at least four weeks to heal, while grade 3 sprains can take as long as six to eight weeks to heal fully.