Acromioclavicular arthritis/arthrosis

Definition:

Osteoarthrosis of the acromioclavicular joint characterised by articular cartilage loss and periarticular bone response.

Causes:

Acromioclavicular arthritis, is atypical in that it is present in a non weight-baring joint. Acromioclavicular arthritis may be primary: a process of ageing, or secondary: a result of trauma, and/or abnormal biomechanics. Acromioclavicular arthritis is most commonly found in the dominant arm.

Presentation: Patient’s suffering from acromioclavicular arthritis typically present with a unilateral, localised pain over the acromioclavicular joint. Crepitus is also a common feature. The symptoms tend to be aggravated by movement and as the day progresses.

Examination: Acromioclavicular arthritis pain is usually reproduced at end range shoulder elevation (between 170 and 180). Audible and palpable crepitus may be appreciated over the symptomatic joint, accompanied by a reduced range of motion in the presence of acriomoclavicular arthritis. Case history may reveal previous trauma, and/or overuse of the affected limb.

A sub-acromial spur may develop as a process of osteophyte formation, which can damage and compromise the integrity of the supraspinatious muscle and overlying sub-acromial bursa.