Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Injuries


Acromioclavicular joint sprains, also called AC joint separation or shoulder separation, are traumatic injuries of the shoulder at the joint where the shoulder blade (acromion) meets the collarbone (clavicle).


This shoulder condition often affects active patients who fall on their shoulders. It can often happen after a cycling accident where someone flips over their handlebars. Injury to this part of the shoulder can lead to instability in the short term and can lead to the development of AC joint arthritis and pain in the long term.


The symptoms of AC joint arthritis are easily recognizable when a patient experiences pain in the front of the shoulder just over the joint. There may be a deformity present on one side that is not seen on your other shoulder. You may also experience a limited range of motion and pain with various motions, especially bringing your arm across your body or overhead. Sleeping or laying on that side can be especially painful.


The options for treating AC joint injuries include cortisone injections into the joint, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, the use of a sling, exercise, and physical therapy. In cases that are more severe, surgery may be advised to stabilize the joint in either the acute or chronic setting, sometimes with the use of a tendon graft.

AC Joint Injury Treatment at IBJI

Maintaining fluid mobility and pain-free movement is important for ensuring the optimal use of your shoulder joint. Contact the shoulder specialists at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute for top-quality arthritis treatment. Find a location near you to get relief today.

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