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October 22, 2021  
REFERENCE: Frequently Asked Questions
Distal Clavicle Resection
Q: Patient is a 20-year-old (college) student playing softball as a second baseperson. She had a traumatic injury as well as weight lifting trauma to her distal clavicle. the diagnosis was osteolysis. the treatment is cortisone shots. would the best treatment be arthroscopic surgery or full surgery? what are the results and advantages of each type of surgery?
Answered by Ken Alleyne M.D. on November 08, 2001
A: The advantages of arthroscopic resection are that it is “less surgery” and the rehab is quicker. As to which is best there has been no literature support for one being more dominant in the hands of a competent surgeon. Surgeons who are not skilled in arthroscopy sometimes get less predictable results from doing the procedure arthroscopically as sometimes the resection is not complete. Your surgeon should do which they are the most comfortable with or find a surgeon that does the arthroscopic procedure frequently and with good results.
Q: I broke left clavicle 7 years ago. It did not heal solid, leaving misalignment and stress on muscle group. I'm now having intermittent pain and numbness in arm down to fingertips. is there some procedure that could correct this?
Answered by Ken Alleyne M.D. on November 08, 2001
A: You would require an MRI to evaluate not only the clavicle but the nerves surrounding the clavicle. The group of nerves known as the brachial plexus can sometimes be injured in clavicle fractures. I n addition you may require specific nerve testing. If it is determined that the clavicle is causing the problem then surgery may be indicated.
Q: I'm a forty-year-old lifetime weightlifter/swimmer. I've been diagnosed with an arthritic ac joint. I'm considering the distal clavicle resection procedure. My problem is that each of the three doctors I saw gave me a completely different opinion as to what results this procedure can offer me in regards to resuming my pre injury activities. What is your opinion?
Answered by Ken Alleyne M.D. on November 08, 2001
A: In my practice I tell people that they can resume pre-surgical activities. Although if you are a powerlifter or lift large amounts of weight that may not be reasonable after the procedure depending on how much surgery has to occur. Most people are able to resume most activities.
Q: I have had distal clavicle resection and subacromial decompression on my right shoulder to relieve pain. I have winging in my shoulder blade (for 15 months now). I have been going to physical therapy 2 times a week for 8 months. How else is this winging of the scapula corrected?
Answered by Ken Alleyne M.D. on November 08, 2001
A: Physical therapy is the first and foremost way to correct your concern. Beyond that nerves need to be evaluated and you could require a surgery to correct the winging scapula.
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