CALL NOW (337) 508-1000

CALL NOW
(337) 508-1000

3 Common AC Joint Injuries

Brett Cascio, M.D.

3 Common AC Joint Injuries

3 Common AC Joint Injuries

3 Common AC Joint Injuries

The main joint in the shoulder is the glenohumeral joint, which allows for a lot of the motion in the shoulder. The acromioclavicular joint, or AC joint, is just above the glenohumeral joint. The AC joint is formed by the meeting of the distal clavicle and the acromion, and it is responsible for a lot of the stability in the shoulder. Injuries to the AC joint are common in a lot of sports, especially those that require overhead movements, are played on a very hard surface, or involve rough physical contact. Listed below are three common AC joint injuries.

1. AC Joint Separation

If the ligaments that hold the AC joint together are torn, it can cause the bones to separate. This is caused by trauma to the shoulder, which can occur from a sudden impact like a tackle or by landing on an outstretched arm. Symptoms of AC joint separation include swelling, bruising, pain, and a noticeable loss in range of motion. As the bones shift, bumps on the shoulder may be visible. Conservative treatment begins with rest and immobilization. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapy exercises can help to restore strength the previous range of mobility, but if the tear is very severe, surgery may be needed.

2. AC Joint Arthritis

If the tissue in the AC joint begins to deteriorate, it is called AC joint arthritis or AC joint arthrosis. This degeneration is caused by overuse of the shoulder, commonly from repetitive overhead motions, or as a result of injury. Symptoms of AC joint arthritis include pain over or in front of the joint and arm movement accompanied by popping or clicking. Rest, cortisone injections, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed by your doctor. Use of an immobilizing device like a brace or splint and adherence to a regimen of physical therapy may be used to treat this condition. If the degeneration is very severe, surgery may be necessary.

3. AC Joint Fractures

If the distal clavice or the acromion is fractured by a sudden impact, it can cause damage to the cartilage in the AC joint. This can contribute to AC joint arthritis down the road, but it can also cause pain and mobility issues. AC joint fractures are common in sports, particularly cycling, where the surface landed on is likely to be very hard. Diagnosis of a fracture is confirmed with an X-ray and treated with immobilization of the affected area for a set amount of time. If the fracture is accompanied by impingement syndrome or if bone shards are present, surgery may be needed. Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises are very important in recovering from a fracture. Range-of-motion exercises and strengthening exercises can help you heal properly, so you're able to return to previous activities. If a fracture heals incorrectly, it can cause pain and mobility problems down the road.


All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2021 VoxMD.com, All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Cascio, medical director of Sports Medicine at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, specializes in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

 

 

About Us

Research

In the News

Media & Downloads

Contact Us

Shoulder pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. A full diagnosis of your symptoms will help address the underlying problem.

 

 

Shoulder Anatomy

Shoulder Conditions

Shoulder Treatments

What is a Shoulder Surgeon?

Dr. Cascio will work with you to perform the necessary exams and tests to diagnose the source of your hip pain and then provide you with your options.

 

 

Hip Anatomy

Hip Conditions

Hip Treatments

What is a Hip Surgeon?

 

 

Knee pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats knee pain and injury.

 

 

Knee Anatomy

Knee Conditions

Knee Treatments

What is a Knee Surgeon?

 

 

Elbow pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats elbow pain and injury.

 

 

Elbow Anatomy

Elbow Conditions

Elbow Treatments

 

 

Ankle pain is a common problem, and there can be many causes. Dr. Cascio treats ankle pain and injury.

 

 

Foot & Ankle Anatomy

Foot & Ankle Conditions

Foot & Ankle Treatments

What is a Foot & Ankle Surgeon?

 

 

Worker’s Comp injuries need a doctor with the special training and experience to handle these complex problems. When you can’t work, the stress of life is compounded.   Dr. Cascio and his team have years of experience dealing with both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of on the job Injuries.

  Learn More