Can surgery fix a cosmetic shoulder deformity?

Some shoulder injuries, like clavicle fractures and AC joint injuries, can leave a bony prominence even after they heal. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I share my thoughts on whether surgery can make the shoulder look normal again.

Brandon asks:
I have a grade 2 AC sprain which left me with a bump. I was told I developed osteolysis in the joint. I was told I need the surgery that shaves off the tip of bone at the joint – the Mumford procedure. I was wondering if this would also help to reduce the bump from my AC separation? I am young and fit, the bump has really bothered me since I got it.

An AC joint injury involves the small joint on top of the shoulder between the end of the collarbone and the tip of the shoulder blade. You can injure this joint by landing directly on your shoulder or having another athlete hit you on the side of the shoulder. Most of these injuries do not require surgery, but you might have a bump at that area long after the injury heals.

As orthopedic surgeons, we will occasionally perform surgery to stabilize the AC joint. Usually we do it for more severe injuries that lead to weakness down the road. In this video, I explain whether surgery could help if your problem is only that bump on top of your shoulder.

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – Distal clavicle osteolysis of the shoulder
Ask Dr. Geier: Shoulder Labral Tears

Clavicle fracture x-ray after surgery