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Orthopaedic Surgery

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Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Injury

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

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  • 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.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins for treatment of AC joint injury?

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Our Physicians


Rely on the expertise of our physicians to help you manage your AC joint injury.

Andrew Cosgarea, M.D.
Edward McFarland, M.D.
Uma Srikumaran, M.D.
John Tis, M.D.
John Wilckens, M.D.

Bashir Zikria, M.D., M.Sc.

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