ACJ arthritis

Pain relating to the acromio-clavicular joint usually presents as pain located at the end of the collar bone.  This can be caused by wear and tear (osteoarthritis) of the joint or by an old injury to the joint (especially in people who have been involved in contact sports in the past).  The shoulder can be painful to lie on and the pain can cause sleep disturbance.  The condition can usually be diagnosed during a specialist shoulder examination and can show up on x-rays of the shoulder. An ultrasound guided steroid injection (click to read more) will usually provide pain relief.

If the pain returns after the injection, then a small day-case keyhole operation may be required to give a more permanent solution.  The procedure is referred to as an arthroscopic ACJ excision and involves a small amount of bone being shaved off the end of the collar bone. The ExeterShoulder surgeons each perform around 70 of these procedures every year. Recovery from the operation usually takes around 10 weeks (click to read more about recovery).

Click to read more about an ACJ excision if you are due to have the operation.