What is it and how is it treated?
Your shoulder is a complex network of bones, muscles, and connective tissues.
The shoulder joint comprises four joints that work together to provide stability and a wide range of motion.
One of those critical joints is the acromioclavicular (AC) joint.
The shoulder specialists at OrthoNeuro in Columbus, Ohio, offer expert diagnosis to identify the cause of your shoulder pain and innovative treatments to address soreness that stems from your acromion or AC joint.
What Is The Acromion?
The acromion is the top outer edge of your scapula (shoulder blade).
It forms the acromioclavicular joint with your clavicle (collarbone) and is located above the glenohumeral joint.
It helps stabilize your shoulder joint. It also enables your shoulders’ wide range of motion and helps transfer force from your arm to your collarbone and shoulder blade.
What Causes AC Pain?
Many injuries and degenerative conditions contribute to acromion shoulder pain, including:
Injuries are one of the most prevalent causes of acromion pain.
When you fall, either onto your shoulder or an outstretched arm, you risk spraining the ligaments that connect your acromion to the other bones in your shoulder, including the coracoclavicular ligaments.
Your discomfort could also stem from collarbone fractures or dislocations.
Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when your acromion rubs on your rotator cuff, including the tendon and bursa in the subacromial space.
Subacromial impingement causes inflammation in your shoulder, restricting motion and causing pain and stiffness.
You can also develop osteoarthritis in your AC joint as the cartilage that covers, protects, and lubricates the joints wears away.
Day-to-day activities and aging lead to the breakdown of the cartilage which causes osteoarthritis to develop.
Rotator Cuff Tears
Problems with the AC joint can also increase your risk of a torn rotator cuff.
Repetitive movements that press the acromion against the rotator cuff tendons can weaken and damage the tissue, leading to severe pain and reduced mobility.
How Is Shoulder Pain in the AC Joint Treated?
The shoulder specialists at OrthoNeuro begin with a comprehensive exam to identify the specific condition causing your symptoms.
They will feel your AC joint for tenderness and check for signs of inflammation or deformity.
Your doctor may also gently lift or rotate your arm, or ask you to do so yourself, so they can see how your discomfort affects your mobility.
When necessary, your doctor orders diagnostic tests, including X-rays, MRIs, and use in-office ultrasounds to look for damage in your shoulder.
Once your physician diagnoses your condition, they will create a comprehensive treatment plan, often combining therapies to relieve your discomfort and heal your shoulder.
Your treatment program may include:
You may find that anti-inflammatory medications provide sufficient relief from your discomfort.
Combined with rest and other treatments, this could relieve your symptoms and help you get back to your regular activities.
Your physician may also recommend joint injections to deliver corticosteroid anti-inflammatories and anesthetic medicine directly into your shoulder joint.
Working with a physical therapist is often a critical part of treating shoulder issues.
You will practice exercises and stretches to strengthen your shoulder and improve flexibility in the muscles and connective tissue around your joint, collar bone, humeral head, and shoulder blades.
Your doctor may recommend surgery when your condition doesn’t respond to non-invasive treatments, or your joint damage is so severe that it requires surgical repair.
The shoulder specialists at OrthoNeuro offer various shoulder surgeries, including arthroscopy, anterior acromioplasty, and shoulder replacements.
Call OrthoNeuro today or make an appointment online if you have shoulder pain and stiffness that interferes with your life.
Getting help at an early stage can minimize the overall disruption to your quality of life and independence.
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Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Specialist Today!
- If you have been experiencing the symptoms of Acromion Pain, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus.
- We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you.
- Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.
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