Acromioclavicular joint osteoarthritis

Last revised by Dr Joachim Feger on 19 Sep 2020

Acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative condition of the shoulder

Acromioclavicular joint osteoarthritis accounts for ~20% (range 12.7-24%) of patients with shoulder pain. It most commonly presents in the fourth decade 3

Acromioclavicular joint osteoarthritis can be 1:

  • primary: age-related
  • secondary: usually to prior trauma

Typical imaging findings of osteoarthritis are present, however, these are mostly asymptomatic. Effusion and capsular thickening may be present but again, these correlate poorly with symptoms 1,2. Bone marrow edema may be useful in discriminating for symptomatic OA 1,4

Ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections into the acromioclavicular joint are useful for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes 5. For persistent symptomatic ACJ OA, open or arthroscopic distal clavicular resection can be considered 3

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