Acromioclavicular joint, is the junction where the clavicle, or collarbone, attaches to the shoulder blade. This joint is a small bump that can be felt over the top of the shoulder. The AC joint is stabilized by ...
The following signs and symptoms are associated with a shoulder separation:
• Pain to the top of the shoulder: Often, it is most comfortable to support the affected arm with the opposite hand.
• Swelling, cuts, or bruises may be present on the top of the shoulder.
• An obvious upward pointing lump on the top of the shoulder is seen in more serious separations. This is the end of the displaced collarbone (the clavicle bone), and it moves up if the affected arm is pulled toward the ground.
• Tenderness or soreness is felt at the junction, or joint, between the collarbone and shoulder. Tenderness is felt at the site of the AC (acromioclavicular) joint.
• If nerve damage occurs, numbness or muscle weakness may be present in the shoulder or affected arm. If this symptom occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
• In severe cases, there will be limited movement of the shoulder.
A shoulder separation occurs when a sharp blow or a fall causes the collarbone (clavicle) to be forced away from the bone of the shoulder (the acromion of the scapula). Usually a sports injury, a shoulder separation is more common in contact sports such as football, rugby, hockey, or wrestling. A car accident or a fall may also cause this injury.
More about Treatment
Acromioclavicular joint, is the junction where the clavicle, or collarbone, attaches to the shoulder blade. This joint is a small bump that can be felt over the top of the shoulder. The AC joint is stabilized by ligaments that can be injured by a direct fall onto the front or top of the shoulder. This type of injury is called an AC joint sprain or separation. The AC joint can also undergo degeneration over time, especially in long-term weight lifters or people who do a lot of overhead work. This is known as degenerative joint disease of the AC joint, or AC joint arthritis.
Although AC joint problems can usually be diagnosed by a careful physician examination, X-rays are also useful to evaluate the joint. In arthritis or degeneration, bone spurs and narrowing of the joint is seen. In sprains, the physician can measure how much the end of the collarbone is elevated or lifted up, which is important in determining a treatment plan.
• Ice is an important treatment for most acute soft-tissue injuries.
• Frequently, a sling is needed and helpful for the first few days after an injury. This helps to support the weight of the arm and to restrict motion. A doctor may advise some motion exercises such as stretching and light weight-bearing within a few days once the immediate pain has stopped.
• Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications may be advised, either over the counter or by prescription.
• Physical therapy may be required, particularly once the immediate pain has stopped within a few days. The decision to prescribe rehabilitation therapy often is made during a follow-up visit.
Complete ligament rupture at the AC joint may require surgical repair. The surgery can be done with an open incision or arthroscopically (with a small camera and small incisions).
• The Weaver Dunn procedure is a surgical intervention used to repair a severely damaged AC joint separation.
How is the fracture of acromioclavicular joint diagnosed?
The area of the injury is usually bruised. If there is tenderness without any deformity, it indicates only sprain. But in case of deformity, the patient is in a lot of pain. An X-Ray is done to confirm the fracture.
How is acromioclavicular joint repair done?
In case of sprains and partial dislocations, the arm is rested on a sling until pain subsides. Anti inflammatory drugs are given and exercise is recommended. IN severe dislocation, a surgery is required.
How much time it takes to repair after the acromioclavicular joint repair surgery?
The patient will start to feel better in a few days or a week. To fully recover, it takes about 6 weeks.
How long is it required to wear a sling after the acromioclavicular joint repair surgery?
The patient is usually required to wear a sling for about 4 weeks.
How long will it take to regain full motion of the shoulder?
It will takes about 8 weeks to regain complete motion of the shoulder.
How to sleep with acromioclavicular joint injury?
The patient may lie flat on the back and use a pillow for the injured arm to reduce stress and pressure on it. It is also advised to lie on the uninjured side.
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