What is Distal Clavicle Excision?

A minimally invasive procedure with the goal of relieving pain and restoring the full range of motion to your shoulder, distal clavicle excision is a procedure often performed for patients suffering damage to the shoulder joint due to severe arthritis or impingement. This procedure is performed within the acromioclavicular joint, which is located between the acromion (the bone at the top of your shoulder) and the clavicle (also known as the collarbone). Pain in this area can also be caused by playing certain sports or a traumatic accident, such as a fall, motor vehicle accident or hard, unexpected impact to the area.

Our Treatment Approach

Distal clavicle excision can be performed as either minimally invasive or traditional open surgery, though OrthoCARE Institute generally prefers to use compassionate, innovative minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. Usually, patients can also expect their distal clavicle excision to be performed as an arthroscopic procedure, which makes use of a tiny camera that allows the surgeon to clearly navigate and treat the affected area. Additionally, arthroscopic distal clavicle excision allows for smaller incisions, minimized blood loss, lessened risk of trauma to surrounding areas and faster recovery times.

The procedure itself will generally follow these steps:

  • Tiny incisions are created to allow the surgeon access to the joint. The arthroscope is inserted into the shoulder for a clear view of the area.
  • The surgeon will carefully remove the section of clavicle causing pain and impingement within the shoulder to create more space and alleviate discomfort.
  • After the procedure is complete, the incisions will be shut and recovery begins. The arm will be placed in a temporary sling to keep it secure and immobilized while it heals.

Antibiotics, physical therapy, rest and ice compresses will likely all be part of the immediate recovery process. While exact healing periods vary by patient and the severity of their condition, regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon will ensure that your shoulder is on the right track to being fully mended.

Contact OrthoCARE Institute today at 972-255-5588 or by filling out the form on our Contact Us page. We look forward to speaking with you and discussing how we can help you with your shoulder needs!

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