Surgery is not always necessary. Here’s what you need to know.

INJURY
Shoulder Separation

ALSO KNOWN AS
Shoulder Tear

ABOUT
Shoulder separation involves where the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) meets the collarbone (clavicle) a the highest point of the shoulder blade (acromion).

COMMON INJURY
Most often injured through a fall onto the shoulder. The ligaments around the AC joint are injured and no longer stabilize the AC joint.

DIAGNOSIS
When the injury causes deformation of the shoulder area, the injury is easily identified. However with little to no deformity, x-rays and pain location can aid in identifying the injury.

NON SURGICAL TREATMENT
Most common nonsurgical treatments are slings, cold packs and medications to help with pain. As well as limiting use and motion of the joint.

SURGICAL TREATMENT
Surgery is only considered with sincere, ongoing pain and/or significant deformity.

Shoulder Separation Image courtesy of AAOS