Two joints in the shoulder can develop arthritis, each requiring different treatment methods and rehabilitation techniques. For residents of Lancaster interested in consulting with an AC arthritis specialist, Dr. Michael Bercik at Lancaster Orthopedic can discuss your condition with you and walk you through the steps to recovery.

AC Arthritis Specialist Lancaster, PAAfter graduating Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University, Dr. Michael Bercik received his medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. He went on to complete his residency at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia, PA, where he was awarded the annual Orthopaedic In-training Examination award for scoring the highest in his residency program. He went on to further demonstrate his medical abilities outside academic pursuit, and he was awarded the Mark D Chilton award for his outstanding patient care.

Dr. Bercik is dedicated to providing his patients with the top standard of treatment. To develop his advanced skill set, he completed international fellowships at the Centre Orthopédique Santy in France and the Melbourne Shoulder and Elbow Centre at Monash University. These fellowships allowed Dr. Bercik to learn under some of the most influential shoulder surgeons in the world and integrate advanced and innovative techniques into his traditional orthopedic skill set. By doing so, Dr. Bercik can provide his patients with treatment options that yield incredible outcomes.

What is AC Joint Arthritis?

When it comes to arthritis, identifying the type and location can help to determine the underlying causes of symptoms and improve treatment outcomes. For example, if you have pain on the top of your shoulder and difficulty reaching the arm across the body, you may be experiencing signs of acromioclavicular (AC) joint arthritis.

The AC joint is the joint that encompasses the clavicle and the top of the scapula. While you may not have heard of this joint, it is one of the most common shoulder joints to get arthritis.

AC joint arthritis is typically osteoarthritis, which is a type of arthritis that develops from gradual wearing down of the cartilage. When this happens, the bones in the AC joint rub together and begin to cause pain and limited mobility.

AC Joint Osteoarthritis Symptoms 

Osteoarthritis in the AC joint is less likely to cause pain than in many other locations. Therefore, many people with this condition do not experience symptoms. However, if you experience symptoms, it could be a sign of an underlying condition, such as bone marrow lesions (swelling of the bone underneath damaged cartilage), shoulder dislocation, or bone spurs. Shoulder impingement syndrome and shoulder dislocation are commonly associated with osteoarthritis of the AC joint.

While AC joint osteoarthritis is less likely to cause pain than osteoarthritis in other joints (such as the knees or hips), you should still seek treatment if you believe you may be affected by this condition. Early medical intervention is essential to identify damage to structures within the shoulder and prevent further complications. If you doubt whether you are experiencing AC arthritis, an experienced shoulder doctor can provide you with a comprehensive consultation to ensure you are on track to maintain healthy joint function.

Let’s Get Started!

AC arthritis can quickly progress and lead to severe movement limitations. If you suspect arthritis in this joint, it is best to seek advice from an AC arthritis specialist as soon as possible. Lancaster residents should schedule their first appointment by clicking the  “Schedule An Appointment” link in the top right of the website or by calling (866) 564-1000.