patientinformation Acromio-clavicular joint A guide to treatment & management Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment & Treatment Service

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1 The NHS Foundation Trust Acromio-clavicular joint A guide to treatment & management Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment & Treatment Service patientinformation Your health, your life, your choice, our passion

2 Hearing about your experience of our services is very important as it means we can pass compliments to our staff and make improvements where necessary. Tell us what you think at If you require this document in another language, large print, braille or audio version, please contact Patient Information on or

3 Acromio-clavicular joint Introduction The acromio-clavicular joint is formed between part of the shoulder blade (the acromion portion of the scapula) and the collar bone (clavicle). When the joint is injured you may experience pain over the top and side of the shoulder especially when reaching overhead or across the body. The joint has cartilage and ligaments which stabilise the joint. The joint may be injured by a direct fall onto the shoulder which may cause the collar bone to become more prominent. The extent of damage is classified by the amount the joint has moved and the degree of injury to the ligaments stabilising the joint. The joint may be sprained or dislocated. Degenerative changes can also affect the AC joint. This involves wear and tear of the joint which can affect the cartilage. The cartilage becomes thinner and the joint may develop bony spurs which can restrict the mobility of the joint. This results in pain as described above. This is more common in weight lifters and body builders. 3

4 Acromio-clavicular joint Acromio-clavicular joint AC joint Clavicle Acromion What tests may be done? Your clinician may send you for an x-ray of the shoulder. They may take different views to enable a clear view of the extent of any injury to the AC joint. 4

5 Acromio-clavicular joint What are the treatment options? Depending on the clinician s assessment findings including the amount of shoulder movement and any x-rays taken, there are different options available. These options include: l Rest. NOT total rest, but a period of time avoiding those activities that specifically aggravate your pain. Your physiotherapist will show you how to keep your shoulder moving but avoid pain at the same time. l Pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications may have been prescribed by your GP/Doctor. These will help reduce pain and inflammation. l Cortisone injections may be used in some instances to reduce pain and inflammation. l Physiotherapy will involve treatment to reduce pain and improve the range of movement available. It may also involve retraining some of the shoulder muscles to improve the stability of the joint. It is important that you complete any exercises you are given. l Surgery. In some instances some patients do not respond to physiotherapy and may need surgery to improve the joint stability if the ligaments are torn and the joint remains unstable despite treatment. Alternatively surgery may be needed to relieve pain if there are degenerative changes(arthritis) and conservative management only gives temporary relief. This can be done through key hole (arthroscopic) surgery. 5

6 Acromio-clavicular joint How to contact us Musculoskeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service Community Health Centre Greasbrough Road S60 1RY Telephone Useful contact numbers NHS Direct Telephone Health Info Telephone Stop Smoking Service Telephone Patient Services Telephone A&E Telephone For GP out of hours, contact your surgery Useful websites We value your comments If you have any comments or concerns about the care we have provided please let us know, or alternatively you can write to: Patient Services The NHS Foundation Trust Hospital Moorgate Road Oakwood S60 2UD Telephone Produced by Sally Blair and Vanessa Fletcher-Barrett. October Revision due October Version: 1.0 The NHS Foundation Trust All rights reserved. 6

7 How to find us Community Health Centre main routes A6123 A6123 Greasbrough St Community Health Centre Greasbrough Rd Greasbrough Rd Northfield Rd Centenary Way Rawmarsh Rd A6021 Effingham St Kenneth St Shaftesbury Square Centenary Way Norfolk St St Ann s Rd A633 St Ann s Roundabout St Ann s Rd A629 College Rd Roundabout Centenary Way Centenary Way Bridge St Greasbrough Rd Water St Henry St A6021 Wharncliffe St Norfolk St College Rd ROTHERHAM CENTRAL TRAIN STATION A6021 Hospital main routes To Leeds Parkgate To Doncaster 35 Thorpe Hesley B6089 A633 M1 North 34 South 34 To Sheffield Kimberworth Park A629 Kimberworth A6109 A631 Woodside Brinsworth 33 TOWN Clifton CENTRE A618 A631 East Dene Hospital Moorgate A6123 Whiston Herringthorpe A631 M1 Wickersley Bramley 32 A631 To A1, M62 & Hull M18 1 To Sheffield Treeton A618 M1 To Nottingham and the South 7

8 Sustainable Forests / Low chlorine LS 26 10/12 V1 WFO Hospital Moorgate Road Oakwood S60 2UD Telephone

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