Separated Shoulder

Friday, January 06, 2012

Perhaps the most common traumatic injury to a persons shoulder is known as a shoulder separation. The injury is fairly common in athletes and can be very painful. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this injury and the levels of separation in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A shoulder separation is the partial or complete separation of two parts of the shoulder: the collarbone and the end of the shoulder blade.

The collarbone and the shoulder blade are connected by the acromio-clavicular, or AC joint. In a shoulder separation, the ligaments that hold this joint together are partially or completely torn.

A shoulder separation is classified by how severely these ligaments are injured. These injuries are classified from type one to type six depending on the physical exam and X-ray diagnostics.

Signs and symptoms of a shoulder separation include:

Limited movement in the shoulder area.

Swelling and bruising, and

Tenderness over the AC joint.

Treatment of a shoulder separation depends on its severity. For a less severe injury, patients may wear a sling until the pain stops. Early physical therapy to strengthen your shoulder and regain range of motion is important for recovery. Surgery may be needed for type III injuries and above.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.