What is AC Joint Separation?
AC joint dislocation or separation, also known as shoulder separation, is a condition characterized by damage to the ligaments that connect the acromion to the collar bone. As a result, the bones do not line up properly, causing joint pain and instability.
Causes of AC Joint Separation
- A fall on the shoulder
- Lifting heavy objects
- A sports injury
Symptoms of AC Joint Separation
- Weakness in the arm or shoulder
- Loss of motion
Diagnosis of AC Joint Separation
Diagnosis can be made based on discussion of your symptoms and a physical examination of the shoulder. A shoulder X-ray may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis of AC joint separation.
Treatment for AC Joint Separation
Conservative treatment is usually effective, but in cases of a severely unstable joint, surgery may be considered. The treatment methods include:
- Medications: anti-inflammatory pain medications help to reduce pain and swelling.
- Rest: You will be instructed to avoid activities that provoke pain and to use a sling to immobilize your shoulder and arm.
- Ice: An ice pack can be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling and pain.
- Physical therapy: Specific exercises can be done to help strengthen the shoulder muscles.
Your doctor will make one or more incisions over the AC joint to put the bones back into appropriate position and stabilize the joint with heavy sutures and/or a tendon graft.
- Subacromial Impingement Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Shoulder Pain
- Anterior Shoulder Instability
- Shoulder Impingement
- SLAP Tears
- Arthritis of the Shoulder
- Shoulder Labral Tear
- Shoulder Dislocation
- Little League Shoulder
- Frozen Shoulder
- Shoulder Trauma
- Clavicle Fracture
- Proximal Humerus Fractures
- Sternoclavicular Joint (SC joint)
- Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Osteoarthritis
- Proximal Biceps Tendinitis
- Internal Impingement of the Shoulder
- AC Joint Separation
- Shoulder Tendonitis
- Partial Rotator Cuff Tear
- Bicep Tendon Rupture
- Shoulder Labral Tear with Instability
- Proximal Biceps Tendon Rupture
- Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder
- Massive Retracted Rotator Cuff Tear
- Calcification Tendinitis
- Rotator Cuff Pain