A shoulder joint is at the point where three bones meet, these are, the clavicle or the collar bone, the scapula or the shoulder bone and the humerus or the arm bone. The scapula connects with the clavicle like a socket, while the humerus’ rounded end fits into this scapula and clavicle socket-like joint. The acromion is the scapula’s end. The joint of the acromion and the clavicle is called the acromioclavicular joint.
When the acromioclavicular joint is dislocated and the scapula comes together with clavicle, an injury called Shoulder Separation results. Shoulder Separation is also known as acromioclavicular joint separation. Shoulder Separation is may be caused by sports-related injuries such as when the shoulder is directly hit. In football, hockey, rugby and wrestling the risks are greater. Falling off a horse or a bicycle with the pressure fully on an outstretched hand is another case of possible Shoulder Separation injury.
Tell-tale signs of Shoulder Separation include pain, swelling and bruising. Physical and X-ray examinations help diagnose the injury. Shoulder Separation is classified according to severity. This is necessary to determine the type of treatment necessary. There are three initial and basic treatments which are: controlling the swelling, resting the injured joint and medication to ease the pain and inflammation. Ice may be used on the swelling for 15 minutes at a time, every 4 hours.
Resting the joint begins the healing and reduces the pain. A sling would be helpful and should be worn until the patient is able to move painlessly. Medical interventions on Shoulder Separation range from non-operative treatments to surgery. Types I and II injuries most often do not need surgery. Types IV, V and VI are surgical cases. There are factors that determine which intervention to use in Type III injuries. These are to prevent potential risks of surgery and the other option is the possible benefits of surgery.