ACJ Instability

 Xray ACJ Instability

A dislocation of the collarbone at the shoulder usually results from a direct fall on to the shoulder.  Initially it will cause significant pain and swelling with an obvious lump over the end of the collar bone. Most of these acute injuries can be treated without any surgery and will allow a return to normal function, although the lump will remain.  Occasionally surgery will be required to fix the collarbone back in to position shortly after the initial injury.


Sometimes if the acute injury has been treated without surgery, the pain and loss of function will continue.  In this situation a reconstruction of the joint may be considered.  This is usually performed as a day-case procedure with a combination of keyhole and mini scars to insert a synthetic ligament which will keep the collar bone in the correct position.  This is done in conjunction with a transfer of a ‘spare’ shoulder ligament to help with the healing of the collarbone back in it’s correct position. Recovery from the operation usually takes about 12 weeks (click to read more about recovery).