Shoulder Acromioclavicular Joint (Ac Joint) Arthritis (Weight-Lifter’s Shoulder)
Description Of Shoulder Ac Joint Arthritis
Although many patients over the age of 40 have may have x-ray evidence of acromioclavicular (AC) joint arthritis (between the end of the collar bone and the acromion), few will actually have significant pain from this joint. The disease is most common in weight lifters as well as some recreational athletes, who may injure or tear the small cartilage in that joint.
Diagnosis Of Shoulder Ac Joint Arthritis
The diagnosis can be made with x-rays and may be both confirmed and treated with cortisone injections into the AC Joint. This may be performed using an ultrasound to guide the injection into the inflamed joint space.
Treatment Of Shoulder Ac Joint Arthritis
Conservative treatment usually starts with modifying the activity that causes pain. This may mean cessation or altering the method of weight lifting activities. If rest and injections become ineffective, an arthroscopic widening of the AC joint usually relieves the pain. This is an outpatient procedure performed with an arthroscope. The end of the clavicle is shaved back to allow for a 1cm gap between the end of the clavicle and the acromion. Resumption of weight lifting and strenuous activities may resume, usually 2-3 months later.