Acromioclavicular Joint Arthritis

Overview

This arthritis affects a joint at the top of your shoulder. It’s where the shoulder blade’s bony protrusion (called the “acromion”) meets the clavicle. This joint acts as a pivot point when you raise your arm above your head.

Causes

What causes AC joint arthritis? We don’t always know. It’s most common in people older than 50. Women are affected more often than men. You can develop it over time if you do activities that put a lot of stress on your shoulder. It’s a problem for people who work construction, for example. It can affect athletes who do a lot of overhead arm motions. You can also develop this arthritis as a result of injury or infection.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include pain and stiffness in your shoulder. Your range of motion may be limited. And you may feel or hear grinding or clicking sensations when you move your arm.

Treatment

To treat this arthritis, your doctor may recommend things like medications, hot and cold compresses, and changing your activities. You may benefit from physical therapy. If these don’t help, you may need surgery.