An Overview on AC Arthritis
AC arthritis, otherwise known as osteoarthritis of the acromioclavicular joint, is fairly common in middle aged adults and the active population. When the AC joint begins to deteriorate from loss of cartilage and causes AC joint pain, inflammation and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint, shoulder arthritis has developed. Dr. Jeff Padalecki, shoulder specialist serving the Austin, Texas communities, specializes in diagnosing and treating AC arthritis so individuals can return to the activities they love.
AC arthritis, much like other forms of shoulder arthritis, causes AC joint pain, inflammation and swelling. Osteoarthritis of the AC joint begins when cartilage in the shoulder area begins to deteriorate from normal wear and tear and/or overuse. Other causes of AC arthritis include an old AC joint injury, such as an AC joint separation, and repetitive overhead lifting. Athletes participating in contact sports, such as football and hockey, are at an elevated risk of developing shoulder arthritis if they sustain a hard fall or blunt hit to the shoulder area.
AC Arthritis Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of AC shoulder arthritis is AC joint pain. Many patients also experience tenderness at the top of the shoulder, swelling and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint.
AC Arthritis Diagnostic Testing
Dr. Padalecki will perform a thorough physical examination in order to properly diagnosis AC joint pain caused by AC arthritis. He will examine the shoulder for tenderness over the AC joint and the level of pain experienced when the joint is in motion or compressed. In most cases, X-rays and an MRI may also be performed to confirm the shoulder arthritis diagnosis.