At Shoreline Orthopaedics, our orthopaedic surgeons use a truly collaborative approach so our patients have the benefit of multiple expert opinions, without having to go elsewhere to obtain them.
Shoreline Orthopaedics provides more comprehensive services, state-of-the-art options, technologies and techniques than anyone else in the area.
The following information is provided to help you understand what you can expect from us regarding policies and procedures, and also what is expected of you before and after treatment or procedures.
The following information is provided to help you gain a better understanding of anatomy, terminology, certain orthopaedic procedures, and more. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your physician.
The shoulder is a complex, ball-and-socket joint made up of three bones: the upper arm bone (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). The ball, or head, of the upper arm bone fits into a rounded socket (glenoid) in the shoulder blade. The arm bone is kept centered in the shoulder socket by a combination of muscles and tendons (rotator cuff). The rotator cuff covers the head of the upper arm bone and attaches it to the shoulder blade.
The AC (acromioclavicular) joint is formed where a portion of the scapula (acromion) and the clavicle meet and are held together by tough tissues (ligaments) that act like tethers to keep the bones in place.
Although many things can happen to the AC joint, the most common conditions are fractures, arthritis and separations. Arthritis in the joint is characterized by a loss of the cartilage that allows bones to move smoothly and is essentially due to wear and tear. Like arthritis in other joints of the body, arthritis of the shoulder often produces pain and swelling, especially with activity. When the AC joint is separated, it means that the ligaments are torn and can no longer keep the clavicle and acromion properly aligned.
Torn or stretched ligaments can be very painful. In an AC separation, the injury to the ligaments can be mild to severe, and pain is usually in direct proportion to the severity of the separation.
AC joint issues often heal with nonsurgical treatment such as immobilization of the arm in a sling, and modification of activities to avoid aggravating the condition. Your physician may also recommend one or more of the following:
Bone spurs (caused by arthritis) must be surgically removed from the AC joint. In the case of severe AC separations, reconstructive surgery is required.
With any surgery there are some risks, and these vary from person to person. Complications are typically minor, treatable and unlikely to affect your final outcome. Your orthopaedic surgeon will speak to you prior to surgery to explain any potential risks and complications that may be associated with your procedure.
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