Shoulder Separation

A shoulder separation is not truly an injury to the shoulder joint. The injury actually involves the acromioclavicular joint (also called the AC joint). The AC joint is where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the highest point of the shoulder blade (acromion).

The most common cause for a separation of the AC joint is from a fall directly onto the shoulder. The fall injures the ligaments that surround and stabilize the AC joint. If the force is severe enough, the ligaments attaching to the underside of the clavicle are torn. This causes the “separation” of the collarbone and wingbone. The wingbone actually moves downward from the weight of the arm.

Nonsurgical treatment for a shoulder separation includes, a sling, cold packs, and a minimally invasive procedure.