Shoulder impingement and arthritis can cause serious pain and other issues for patients. Often nonsurgical methods successfully treat these conditions, but when physical therapy, injections, medication, and other treatments do not relieve the pain, clavicle excision may be necessary. The orthopedic surgeons at California Orthopedics & Spine offer surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for shoulder impingement, arthritis, and other joint problems.
Distal clavicle excision is a minimally invasive procedure that relieves pain by removing a portion of the clavicle (collarbone). Removing a small portion of the collarbone makes more space for the tendons of the shoulder to move and eliminates any painful portions of the bone. The shoulder is made up of two joints, and this procedure is designed to relieve pain or pressure in the AC joint, where the clavicle and the shoulder blade meet. This joint lies above the main ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder.
Who Needs Distal Clavicle Excision?
If you have a painful AC joint, you may be a candidate for this procedure. Patients who have tried nonsurgical treatment methods without success are often recommended for the procedure. Distal clavicle excision is most commonly used to treat two different conditions, which are described in more detail below:
- Shoulder impingement is often called thrower’s shoulder or swimmer’s shoulder. People who do a lot of overhead arm work can develop the condition, which causes the space between the shoulder joints and the tendons to narrow. Without adequate space in the AC joint, the bones can start to rub painfully on the tendons. By removing the very end of the clavicle bone, the surgeon can decompress the area and create more space for the shoulder to move.
- Osteoarthritis of the shoulder can decrease your range of motion and cause pain or stiffness. If the entire shoulder joint is affected by arthritis, a shoulder replacement may be necessary, but if the arthritic tissue is limited to the clavicle area, distal clavicle excision can remove the arthritic bone and relieve pain.
Distal Clavicle Excision Procedure
Distal clavicle excision is an arthroscopic procedure, which means the procedure uses a tiny camera to visualize the inside of your shoulder. The camera allows for a less invasive procedure, eliminating the need for a large incision or opening in the shoulder.
Once the appropriate anesthesia is administered, the surgeon will insert the arthroscope (camera tool) into a small opening in the shoulder. Through another strategically placed opening, the surgeon will remove the very end of the clavicle (collarbone) where it comes near the shoulder blade. This will prevent additional impingement, or in the case of arthritis, remove the more painful damaged bone and tissue. Once the bone is removed, the entry points for the arthroscope and other tools will be sutured. Then you will rest until your anesthesia wears off.
Shoulder Pain Treatment in Marin County
If you are experiencing severe shoulder pain, the team at California Orthopedics & Spine offers a wide variety of treatments to address your discomfort. Athletes and active individuals of all ages trust California Orthopedics & Spine to help them find the least invasive and most effective treatments for their conditions. We offer a wide variety of nonsurgical treatments, arthroscopic procedures, and more to help patients return to their active lifestyles. Contact our office for more information.