Acromioclavicular Joint Anatomy

The acromioclavicular joint is a diarthrodial joint. Both articular surfaces have an ovoid shape. The clavicular surface lies on the acromial one, with the joint space oriented ventrally and medially. Articular surfaces are covered with fibrocartilage, which suggests a poor range of movement between them. A meniscus may arise from the superior part of the capsule (Fig. 2). In some cases, it separates the joint into two compartments, but communications between them may be found that are related to aging (1). Joint stability mainly relies on the coracoclavicular ligaments and the trapezius, deltoid, and sternocleidomastoid muscles. During abduction-adduction movements of the shoulder, the acromioclavicular joint allows the scapula to rotate around the distal end of the clavicle. Maximal tension on the coracoclavicular ligaments is obtained in forced adduction of the arm, such as in tennis backhand preparation.

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