Distal Claviculectomy/Arthritis

Distal Claviculectomy

If you are experiencing pain caused by arthritis and some of the clavicle has degenerated because of arthritis of the shoulder joint, you may need to undergo a distal claviculectomy. This procedure involves removing part of the collarbone to alleviate discomfort and restore range of motion in the joint. Clavicle removal surgery may be combined with other procedures to ensure the bones heal properly.

Reasons to Undergo a Distal Claviculectomy

Many older patients and those with arthritis experience joint pain affecting the shoulders and upper body. When the shoulder joint starts to cause damage to the clavicle (the collarbone), we will need to remove some of the bone tissue completely. This procedure typically removes about 1/2 inch of the clavicle that is closest to the shoulder joint to relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing in this area.

Reasons to undergo this procedure include:

  • Pain relief from arthritis of the shoulder
  • Signs of degeneration of the clavicle
  • Limited range of motion of the shoulder joint because of arthritis

How the Distal Claviculectomy is Performed

This procedure is performed under general anesthesia using an arthroscopic technique. Your surgeon will need to make three or four small incisions in the skin to insert a camera and use small instruments to remove portions of the clavicle. After surgery, your body will start to replace the missing bone with scar tissue and this will prevent further injuries.

Recovery from the Distal Claviculectomy Procedure

Most patients leave the hospital the day after their procedure and pain is easy to control with medication. You will need to wear a sling for approximately six weeks after surgery and also perform shoulder exercises to help restore movement and full range of motion.

Schedule your appointment for a distal claviculectomy consultation with one of our surgeons today.