Acromioclavicular Joint Arthrosis

Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) Arthrosis is a degenerative disorder that affects the acromioclavicular joint – the joint at the top of the shoulder where the acromion and clavicle bones meet. It is commonly caused by wear and tear over time, often resulting from aging or overuse due to certain activities or occupations.

Symptoms

Individuals afflicted with ACJ Arthrosis may experience the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain, particularly when lifting the arm above the head
  • Swelling and tenderness over the acromioclavicular joint
  • Limited shoulder movement
  • A clicking or popping sound when moving the shoulder
  • Pain that worsens in cold weather or during physical activity

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Acromioclavicular Joint Arthrosis generally involves the following:

  • Physical Examination: A doctor will assess pain and the range of shoulder movements.
  • Imaging tests: These may include X-rays, MRI, or Ultrasound to spot any degeneration in the acromioclavicular joint.

Prevention

Prevention methods for AC Arthrosis are similar to those for other shoulder conditions and include:

  • Regular exercise: Strengthening the shoulder muscles can help prevent injuries.
  • Proper technique: Using correct techniques when lifting or executing repetitive shoulder movements can reduce strain on the joint.

Acromioclavicular Joint Arthrosis Treatment

Various treatment options exist for Acromioclavicular Joint Arthrosis, often depending on the severity of symptoms:

  • Non-Surgical Treatments: This usually involves rest, physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and corticosteroid injections to alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Joint injections: A doctor may inject a corticosteroid medication into the acromioclavicular joint to decrease inflammation.
  • Surgical Treatments: If conservative treatments are ineffective, a doctor may recommend surgery. Surgical procedures can range from arthroscopic surgery to remove damaged tissue or bone spurs, to total joint replacement.
  • Rehabilitation: Following surgery, a rehabilitation program involving physiotherapy may be necessary to restore shoulder strength and flexibility.

Each treatment aims to alleviate pain, restore shoulder function, and improve quality of life. The best treatment plan often depends on individual factors such as age, general health, lifestyle, and severity of the condition.

See Acromioclavicular Joint Arthrosis Surgery for more information.