The acromioclavicular joint, often referred to as the AC joint, is located where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the top of the shoulder blade (scapula). Commonly called a separated shoulder, an AC joint injury occurs when ligaments attached to the collarbone tear away from the shoulder blade.
AC Joint Injury: What You Need to Know
- An AC joint injury can occur due to a forceful blow, such as during a sports activity or from a fall on to the top of the shoulder.
- Pain associated with an AC joint injury can range from mild to very painful, depending on the severity of the injury.
- Diagnosing an AC joint injury usually includes a physical exam, but you may also need to get an X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
- Depending on the severity of the AC joint injury, treatment ranges from rest, wearing a sling and taking anti-inflammatory medications to surgery.
Shoulder Injuries | Q&A with Dr. Edward McFarland
Orthopaedic surgeon Edward McFarland, M.D., director of the Division of Shoulder Surgery, discusses the causes, symptoms and treatment of shoulder dislocations and subluxations.