Dr Heckroodt Laubscher

Specialist Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

AC (Acromioclavicular) Joint Excision Procedure

This procedure is often performed in conjunction with an acromioplasty or rotator cuff repair. The AC joint arthritis (with its associated osteophytes) can contribute to the development of Impingement Syndrome. This arthritis may contribute to the development of rotator cuff tears. During this procedure the lateral (outer-edge) end of the clavicle is removed. This prevents further pain due to arthritic bony contact but also removes the associated osteophytes.

Procedure duration:
Coupled with an acromioplasty this procedure is around 45 minutes. Two puncture wounds are made in the shoulder for the camera and arthroscopic burr.

Post operative:
Rehabilitation entails the wearing of a sling (shoulder immobiliser) for 2 weeks whereafter rehabilitation (under physiotherapy guidance) may commence. Driving is not recommended during this period.
Complete recovery usually occurs at between 6 weeks and 3 months.