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Distal Clavicle Excision

The acromioclavicular, or AC, joint is a joint in the shoulder where the collarbone (clavicle) and the shoulder blade (scapula) meet. Increased athletic and overhead activities, as well as ageing can cause traumatic injury or degeneration due to osteoarthritis in the AC joint. Impingement of the soft tissues can occur between the humeral head and the acromion. Damage to the rotator cuff can result in abnormal positioning of the head of the humerus creating pressure on the AC joint above, resulting in arthritis.


Your doctor may initially recommend conservative treatments such as rest, ice application, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. Surgery may be the next step if these interventions fail to relieve your symptoms. In this case, distal clavicle excision is a procedure which involves removal of the outer end of the clavicle (collarbone) to treat shoulder pain and disability due to arthritis or impingement. Removing this portion of the bone will decompress the joint and help ease the pain and loss of motion. Distal clavicle excision can be performed both arthroscopically and through open surgery. 

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