The acromioclavicular joint lies between the acromion (outer end of shoulder blade) and outer border of clavicle (collar bone). In certain conditions such as arthritis or injuries of the acromioclavicular joint pain is felt in the region of the joint when reaching with the arm above shoulder height or crossing the arm across your body.
The Operation:The operation is done by ‘key hole surgery’; usually through two or three 5mm puncture wounds. It involves shaving away part of the acromion bone and clavicle bone to leave 8 mm gap in the acromioclavicular joint. This increases the size of the joint and reduces pain.
General Advice: You will usually be in hospital either for a day or overnight. A doctor/physiotherapist will see you prior to discharge and you will be taught exercises to do and given further advice to guide you through your recovery. You will be given a sling. This is provided purely to keep your arm comfortable. It may be taken off as much as you wish and discarded as soon as possible. You will be encouraged to use your arm. You should be back at work between one and four weeks depending on your job. Your symptoms should be approximately 80% better after three months but may take a year to totally settle.
Complications: As with all surgery there is a risk of some complications. These are rare, but you should be aware of them before your operation.
Complications relating to the anaesthetic, Infection, A need to re-do the surgery, Prolonged stiffness and or pain.
If you require further information please discuss with the doctors either in clinic or on admission.