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Acromioclavicular Joint Reconstruction

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What do I need to know about acromioclavicular joint (AC) reconstruction?

AC reconstruction is surgery to repair a ligament injury. A ligament is connective tissue that connects bones or holds a joint together. The AC is where the highest point of your shoulder bone meets your clavicle (collarbone).

Shoulder Anatomy

How do I prepare for surgery?

What will happen during surgery?

What will happen after surgery?

Your arm will be put into a sling for several weeks to keep it from moving while you heal. You will need to sleep in the sling and wear it during the day. You will be able to move your arm at the elbow and move your wrist and fingers. You may have a stiff or painful shoulder after surgery. This is normal and should get better with time and physical therapy. Your providers will tell you when to start having shoulder rehabilitation. These are exercises that will help increase your range of motion.

What are the risks of an AC joint reconstruction?

You may develop an infection or bleed more than expected during surgery. You may also develop a hematoma (collection of blood) or a seroma (collection of fluid) under your skin. Nerves or veins may be injured. You may have an allergic reaction to the fixation device. Any device used to fix the tendon to bone may fail or move out of place. You may have chronic shoulder pain or stiffness, even after physical therapy.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.