Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocations

Causes  |  Symptoms  |  Treatment Options

What Is A Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocations?

The Acromioclavicular (AC) joint sits between the lateral end of the collarbone (clavicle) and a small facet on the large bony projection on the superior end of the scapula (the acromion).

The AC joint attaches one’s scapula to our clavicle. The joint is dislocated when the clavicle becomes disconnected from the scapula.

What Are The Symptoms of Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocations?

The most common symptoms of acromioclavicular joint dislocations are a visible bump or bruise on the shoulder, shoulder or arm pain, and limited shoulder mobility. Patients may also experience pain when lying on the affected arm and a popping sound when they attempt to move the shoulder.

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocations?

Treatment for dislocations will depend on the severity of the dislocation. Medication will generally be provided in the forms of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and can be accompanied by manipulation (if possible) to put the joint back in place. 

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed should manipulation not be possible or if the dislocation damages blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint. 

In either case, physiotherapy will be recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments to hasten the healing process and reduce recovery time.