A shoulder separation occurs when the ligaments surrounding the acromioclavicular (AC) joint—which is formed by the shoulder blade (acromion) and the collarbone (clavicle)—are sprained or otherwise damaged through trauma, such as a hard fall onto the point of the shoulder. This type of injury is especially common among cyclists, downhill skiers, gymnasts, and other athletes who participate in sports that involve a high risk of falling. In severe cases, part of the shoulder blade may separate from the collarbone.
If you experience pain, tenderness, swelling, or bruising in your shoulder after a fall, you may have a shoulder separation. For an accurate diagnosis, you can consult with an experienced orthopedic specialist at Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Gillette, WY, where you can also benefit from personalized medical attention and state-of-the-art treatments.
How Can a Shoulder Separation Injury Be Treated?
Shoulder separation treatment can vary depending on the severity of the injury. At Premier Bone & Joint Centers, we emphasize conservative therapy whenever possible. Many of our patients benefit from:
- A brief period of rest
- A sling worn to immobilize the injured shoulder as it heals
- Ice pack applications
- Pain medications
- Physical therapy to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion to the shoulder
If there is significant displacement of the collarbone or damage to surrounding structures, such as the rotator cuff, surgical treatment may be considered. After fully evaluating your injury, your physician at Premier Bone & Joint Centers will explain your options and help you make informed treatment decisions with confidence.
Contact Premier Bone & Joint Centers today if you would like to schedule a consultation with a shoulder doctor at our satellite clinic in Gillette, WY.