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Acromioclavicular Stabilisation

What is Acromioclavicular Stabilisation?

Acromioclavicular Stabilisation is a procedure to stabilise and reinforce a dislocated acromioclavicular (AC) Joint. The operation holds the AC joint in its normal position so that the damaged ligaments can heal back together properly.

There are several different methods to secure the joint. These include using a hook plate on the end of the clavicle (collarbone) or using a heavy suture to hold the clavicle securely to the coracoid process bone beneath it (coracoclavicular sling). If the joint has been unstable for some time, the torn ligaments have usually lost the ability to heal properly. In these cases, a tendon graft may be also be required to reconstruct the damaged ligaments.

Certain clavicle fractures can also cause the AC joint to be unstable. In these cases, an acromioclavicular stabilisation may also be performed in addition to the clavicle fracture fixation.

The choice of method used depends on a number of factors including the type of injury, the time since the original injury and surgeon preference.

Depending on the fixation method chosen, the operation can be performed either using a cut or using an arthroscope.

After Acromioclavicular Stabilisation

You can generally go home on the same day after acromioclavicular stabilisation surgery. Your shoulder will be placed in a sling, and you’ll be referred to a physiotherapist for follow up. Until the repaired structures heal, you will need to limit your shoulder movement to avoid damaging the area. Once these structures have healed, ongoing physiotherapy will be needed to regain movement and strength in your shoulder.

For more information on acromioclavicular stabilisation, we recommend contacting our surgeons for an initial consultation.

Surgeons that perform this procedure

Mr Brendan Soo

Orthopaedic Surgeon

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Mr Harry Clitherow

Orthopaedic Surgeon

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