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The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is the converging point of the acromion and clavicle bones in the shoulder region, which is visible as a noticeable bump. AC joint wounds frequently happen because of a fall or accident, which may make the acromion move or separate from the clavicle, or cause the tendons to be extended or torn.

In case of extreme injuries, surgical intervention might be required. This injury is common in sportspeople.

What are the Causes of AC Joint Injury?

A labrum is a protective sleeve of ligament found in ball and socket joints like the hip and shoulder. It is responsible for the movement, flexibility and padding in these joints.

A tear in the labrum, also known as a labral tear or Bankart tear, is caused by an accident, fall or abuse, and can result in the dislocation of the joint. AC joint injuries are common in people who play extreme sports or are involved in labour-intensive activities.

What are the Diagnostic Methods for AC Joint Repair ?

Diagnostic procedure of an AC joint damage begins with an intensive review of the patient's therapeutic history.

Your physical specialist will look at your shoulder and evaluate distinctive measures, for example, sensation, movement, quality, adaptability, delicacy, and swelling.

Your doctor will conduct a few tests particular to test the shoulder joint's flexibility. The specialist may ask you to exhibit the exercises or positions that cause pain. Other close-by regions, for example, your neck and upper back will likewise be inspected to decide if they are the contributing factors in your shoulder pain.

While an AC joint damage can be detected through a shoulder examination, imaging tests like ultrasound, x-ray, or MRI are frequently used to decide the seriousness of the injury.

What are the Signs that You Need Surgical Intervention?

  • General shoulder extreme and swelling.
  • Swelling and tenderness over the AC joint.
  • Loss of shoulder quality.
  • A noticeable bump over the shoulder.
  • Extreme pain while lying on one side.
  • Loss of shoulder movement.
  • A popping sound or tingling sensation with development of the shoulder

What is the Treatment Procedure?

  • RICER RICER is a quick treatment for any tissue damage. The acronym is elaborated as– rest, ice, pressure, elevation and referral. This method should be continued for at least 48– 72 hours. Its purpose is to lessen or stop the bleeding and swelling inside the dislocated joint. The shoulder ought to be kept in a raised position with an ice pack attached for 20 minutes at regular intervals. Once this step is done, the arm is kept into a sling. It is essential that the arm stays immobile. Stay away from warmth, liquor, movement, and back rub. This will reduce the swelling and bleeding at the site of injury.
  • Surgery Doctors may advise invasive procedure if normal methods fail to heal the affected joint. The surgical procedure frequently performed includes the remaking of the coracoclavicular tendons and the extracting (expulsion) of the distal (bear) end of the clavicle (collar bone). Distal clavicle resection without the repair of the tendons may prompt excessive rotation of the scapula.

In a distal clavicle resection, around 10-15 mm of the clavicle is removed through a two-inch incision over the joint. The AC tendon is then exchanged from the base of the acromion into the damages end of the clavicle to replace the torn tendon.

What are the Possible Complications?

The complications of a procedure depend on the extent of injury. Every patient reacts differently to the invasive and noninvasive treatments. Here are some complications which may additionally occur:

  • Persistent Instability of the shoulder girdle.
  • Excessive pain at the site of injury.
  • Moving and lifting things may be painful.
  • Swelling at the joint.
  • Healing may happen at an extremely slow rate.
  • Screws used to fix the injury may come out if a sling is not worn.
  • Playing sports may not be possible until full recovery. Sometimes, this condition marks the end of a professional player’s career.

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