Experienced Shoulder Surgeons who specialize in diagnosis and treatment of Shoulder injury and pain

Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocation

The Acromioclavicular joint is where your collarbone (clavicle) meets the top-most potion of your shoulder blade (acromion); thus the word – acromioclavicular. Strong ligaments hold them together. These ligaments are the coraco-clavicular ligament and acroclavicular ligaments.

CAUSES

Acromioclavicular joint dislocation is particularly common in collision sports such as football, judo, and rugby -to name a few. It’s also a problem for those who participate in swimming, horseback riding, biking, or skateboarding. The most common mechanism of injury is a fall injuring the tip of the shoulder.

SYMPTOMS

A dislocated shoulder is usually associated with an obvious dislocated appearance, pain, swelling, and/or the inability to move your shoulders and arms.

TREATMENT

  • Icing as ice has its anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Shoulder Slingis used to maintain the shoulder in a resting position helping it avoid excessive movements and further strain.
  • Physical therapy helps as it helps restore movements and improve strength.

For severe cases such as when patients feel persistent pain and have apparent deformity, surgery may be done to fix the deformity, regain alignment of the shoulder, and avoid further dislocation.

Surgery aims to reconstruct the damaged ligaments and may require the use of pins, plates, screws or sutures. Your orthopedic specialist may recommend trimming of the collarbone so that there will be no friction to the acromion. If the ligaments are broken, a reconstruction may be done. Surgery may be done in different ways, some are as follows:

  • Arthroscopic Repair– A minimally invasive surgical procedure that typically leaves 3 or less incisions. It involves the use of an arthroscope to examine and treat the damage.
  • Acromioclavicular Joint Surgery– This would require an incision to acquire access to the affected area.

PREVENTION

  • Take care to avoid falls.
  • Wear protective gear when you play contact sports.
  • Exercise regularly to maintain strength and flexibility in your joints and muscles.
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