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SHOULDER AC SEPERATION                                   KANDILNOTES                                                              


  • Shoulder Separation is a condition characterized by injury to the Acromioclavicular (AC) and Coracoclavicular (CC) ligaments

  • More common in males than females

  • (Not so) Fun fact: Shoulder separation is common in cyclists who fall off their bikes or quarterbacks who are tackled to the ground

  • 10% of shoulder injuries are shoulder separation injuries


  • Shoulder separation is caused by a traumatic injury, usually by a blow to the shoulder or a fall onto the shoulder

  • Common in active young adults participating in sports, but can occur in any patient regardless of activity level


  • Pain in the top of the shoulder where the collar bone meets the shoulder blade

  • Often characterized by a bump in the top of the shoulder


  • Treatment of shoulder separation depends on type

  • Types 1 and 2 are mild sprains and don't require surgery. 

  • Type 3 injuries can often be treated without surgery unless dominant arm, laborer, or athlete

  • Types 4-6 often require surgery

  • For types 1-3, immobilization in a sling, rest, and physical therapy / home exercise program focused on stabilization of the muscles around the shoulder is the standard of care

  • Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen are oftentimes helpful as an adjunct to other treatments

  • Surgery consists of stabilization of the AC joint by reconstructing the ligaments and reducing the collar bone back down to its anatomic position


  • There is no preventive strategy for a shoulder separation except for avoiding falls directly on your shoulder



AC Seperation capture 1.PNG
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