What is an AC Joint Repair?
Dr. Boykin performs AC surgery arthroscopically. The goal of arthroscopic AC repair is to secure the collarbone back into its normal position and ensure that all bones are aligned properly to give the shoulder a stable platform for function. Dr. Boykin accomplishes this by attaching very strong sutures to the collarbone and to the front of the shoulder blade. In certain cases this is accompanied by reconstruction of the CC ligaments, which involves looping a graft (either from the patient or donated) from the front of the shoulder blade to the top of the collarbone. Dr. Boykin performs this surgery with the use of the arthroscopic camera as well as small incisions around the shoulder. This surgery is completed on an outpatient basis, and in most cases patients are able to begin a physical therapy program immediately.
Physical therapy is a very important part of the recovery process. Following arthroscopic AC repair surgery, patients will start shoulder motion under the direction of a therapist and will continue to wear a sling for protection for a number of weeks (usually 4-6) post-operatively. Eventually, after the ligaments heal, patients will be allowed to progressively strengthen the shoulder and the use of the sling will no longer be needed. Return to sports will be a gradual, steady process. Within 4 months following surgery, Dr. Boykin often releases patients for a full return to activities depending on their overall progression towards a full recovery.
For more information on AC joint injuries, or to learn more about arthroscopic AC repair, please contact the office of orthopedic shoulder surgeon Dr. Robert Boykin, serving Asheville, Arden, Fletcher and surrounding North Carolina communities.