AC Joint

Acromio-Clavicular joint (commonly called the AC joint) is a joint between the collarbone and the acromion. The acromion itself is a bony process arising from the scapula, ie the shoulder blade. Hence the AC joint connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade. This joint has an important function of transmitting forces and weight from the upper limb onto the trunk, and at the same time allowing movement at the joint.

One may develop pain over the AC joint from overuse, degeneration or arthritis. The initial treatment for such pain may involve activity modification, painkillers and physiotherapy. A guided cortisone injection into the AC joint may also be considered. Surgical treatment in the form of arthroscopic surgery is reserved for patients where these techniques are unsuccessful in managing the pain.

AC joint injuries and dislocations are most commonly seen in bikers and riders. These can also be caused by a heavy weight falling on the top of the shoulder. Management of such injuries depend on various factors including the grade of injury and anticipated function. Treatment options range from physiotherapy, early repair to late reconstruction.

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