AC Arthrosis

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AC Arthrosis is a medical term used to describe a degenerative disease of joints in the shoulder. Following is an informative article about AC Arthrosis, also known as AC Arthritis

What is a Acromioclavicular, or AC, Arthrosis

By Jonathan Cluett, M.D., Guide

Shoulder Anatomy – Bones of the shoulder joint

Medical Multimedia Group

The shoulder joint is formed at the junction of three bones: the collarbone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula), and the arm bone (humerus). The scapula and clavicle form the socket of the joint, and the humerus has a round head that fits within this socket. The end of the scapula is called the acromion, and the joint between this part of the scapula and clavicle is called the acromio-clavicular joint, or AC joint. When this joint wears thin, it is called acromioclavicular (or AC) arthrosis.

Is this the same as a shoulder arthritis?

No. Doctors usually refer to glenohumeral arthritis as ‘shoulder arthritis’. As described above, the shoulder joint is located at the junction of three different bones: the clavicle, the scapula, and the humerus. In patients with AC arthritis, the junction of the clavicle and acromion wears thin. In glenohumeral arthritis, the humerus (arm bone), and its cartilage cover, wear away at the socket of the shoulder joint. Not only are the injuries different in anatomic terms, but the implications for treatment, recovery, and complications are also different.

Why does AC Arthrosis occur?

AC arthrosis is the result of repeated movements that wear away the cartilage surface found at the acromioclavicular joint. Because the shoulder is used so commonly, it is not surprising that after years of use the joint surface may wear thin. Injury, such as shoulder separation, is thought to contribute to the development of AC arthritis.

What are the symptoms of AC Arthrosis?

Patients with AC arthritis usually complain of pain associated with shoulder motion. Specific movements exacerbate the symptoms. A common test performed by your doctor with be to bring the affected arm across your chest. This movement compresses the AC joint and will most often recreate the symptoms of pain. Your doctor may inject the AC joint with local anesthetic or steroids to see if your symptoms improve.

How is AC arthritis usually treated?

Treatment of AC Arthrosis depends on the severity of symptoms and the presence of other shoulder problems including impingement syndrome and glenohumeral arthritis. If the symptoms of AC arthritis are mild to moderate, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy are the most common conservative measures. If the symptoms do not respond to conservative treatment, or if the pain is too severe, then surgery may be necessary. The surgical procedure involves removing the end of the clavicle (collar bone), and allowing the AC joint to fill with scar tissue. This allows for normal movement of the AC joint (which is minimal even in normal shoulders), but removes the rubbing together of raw bone ends.

The surgery may be performed through a small incision directly over the joint. It may also be done through an arthroscope by using small instruments to remove the end of the bone. Usually less than one centimeter of bone is removed to alleviate the pain of the AC arthritis. Recovery times depend most importantly on other procedures (e.g. rotator cuff repair) that may be performed at the time of surgery. For an isolated AC joint resection, treatment usually lasts about 8 weeks and often involves working with a physical therapist.


Here is some related info you may be interested in:
Arthritis Natural Remedies

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Audrey Kogut December 24, 2011

I have been looking this up since this past Tuesday I had a MR Anthrogram done on my left shoulder since I still have severe pain in it especially when I use my arm even without trying to pick something up… I had my shoulder injuried in 2004 by someone at worker walking into my elbow while my arm was bent in front of me a my work as a cashier and hyperextended my arm behind my back. Finally in 2005 I switched Orthopaedics cause therapy was not helping and found why at that time I was in pain and was not able to hold anything in my left hand mind you that I am a right hander but use both hands regularly. Will the Mri that was done in 2004 showed a label tear and inflamation so another 6 months of therapy I finally got the anthroscopic repair of the labrel tear… But something was still wrong and after 5 years of going to doctors including pain management and Orthopaedics including NYU specialist and another Mri of shoulder and cervical everything looked normal but I was having feel of scratching inside shoulder, clicking/popping and not gaining strength finally I got a hold of an Orthopaedic who saw I was in extreme pain but no tests showed why… Well Oct 2010 that same Orthopaedic said he would to anthroscopic and try to figure out what was wrong well what I was saying was bothing me was proven no lie… The sutures of the first surgery had come untied and the Mri didn’t pick it up nor did the Mri show the bone spurs too. Now it is over a year later after the second surgery and I had only been out of pain for two-three weeks after 2nd shoulder surgery like last time gone back to extreme pain including spasms in front of my neck and clicking/popping at the area of the labrel and pain again in the bicep area the upper arm, down the shoulder blade and at worse times it travels down left side of my back giving me bad headaches as well…. Well on Tuesday Dec 20th after being told to discontinue therapy until a MR Anthrogram test be done on my shoulder….. Now this test states there is mild A/C athrosis…. And I was wondering like in past my physical therapist told me it seems my colarbone/first rib causing problems.but therapist won’t call my doctor like even before the 2nd test he state he could feel something is wrong. My therapist is an Assistant for a Hand Specialist so he is more then a physical therapist so I thought like he does with other therapy patients he has called their doctors he would do the same for me but “NO”… like trying to do some typing with left hand pain in shoulder increases and I feel scrapping in shoulder….. So how can I explain what I see on you webpage that all I am experiencing is on here and other site of all the symptoms I am having are right here without him thinking I am making it up or thinking he doesn’t know his speciality… Also when I get great pain using the arm with the bad shoulder I start burning up… He did my 2nd Surgery and use a Anthrax Anchor suture but it is plastic just like the 1st surgery sutures that came untied and didn’t show on the mri tests… 2nd sutures are suppose to be biogradeable but chances could be my body rejected them… As you can see I have been in severe pain since 2004 and it is now going to be 2012 so over 7 years of misery… Can’t work cause when I think I am ok once I use my arm I am in tears and can’t move or function cause the pain gets so bad.. I know you can’t diagnoise me but can you please give me guidance how to speak to my Orthopaedic he says he can see I am really suffering and I don’t even ask for pain meds in fear of becoming addicted plus I don’t like the feeling of no control when I have taken them even after shoulder surgery and he knows that. Please I am 43 years old I have close to no life cause I hurt so much… Can you help me please.


admin February 13, 2012

Hi Audrey (Audrey is my daughter’s name also!)
Take a look at this and see what you think:
The Ultimate Arthritis Cure
A lot of our readers have said great things about their program, it may be right for you.