Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) Arthrosis Surgery

There are several surgical options for treating Acromioclavicular Joint Arthrosis. These include:

  1. Arthroscopic Decompression: The surgeon uses small instruments to shave off osteophytes or bone spurs from the joint.
  2. Distal Clavicle Excision (Resection Arthroplasty): Here, the end of the clavicle (collarbone) is removed to create space in the joint and relieve pressure.
  3. Arthrodesis: Also known as joint fusion, this procedure involves fusing the bones in the joint together.

Expected Surgery Outcome

The primary goal of these surgeries is to provide pain relief and restore function to the shoulder. Most patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms following surgery, with an increased range of motion and ability to perform daily activities.

Potential surgery complications and risks

As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. These may include infection, blood clots, nerve damage, and a possible need for further surgeries.


  • Infection: Though precautions are taken, there is always a risk of infection following surgery.
  • Nerve damage: The shoulder is a complex structure, and there is a risk that nerves may be damaged during surgery.
  • Bleeding: As with any surgery, there’s a risk of excessive bleeding.
  • Nonunion or Malunion: In the case of Arthrodesis, there’s a risk that the bones may not fuse properly or may fuse in the wrong position, requiring further surgery.

Recovery after Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) Arthrosis Surgery

After surgery, the patient’s shoulder will typically be immobilised with a sling for a few weeks. Physiotherapy will be recommended to improve range of motion and strengthen the shoulder. Recovery times can vary depending on the type of surgery performed and the patient’s overall health, but most patients can expect to start seeing improvements in their symptoms within a few weeks of surgery.

See Acromioclavicular Joint Arthrosis for more information on diagnosis and symptoms.