Acromioclavicular Joint Injury - Carrollton
The acromioclavicular or AC joint comprises of the clavicle (collar bone) and scapula (shoulder blade). It facilitates the backward, forward as well as overhead movement of the arm. AC joint injury occurs when the ligaments that hold the joint together get torn or stretched. Athletes involved in sports that require collision, contact or throwing are more likely to suffer
Acromioclavicular Joint Injury.

Depending upon the severity of symptoms, the condition can be classified into the following grades:

  • Grade 1: The AC ligament may get slightly stretched.
  • Grade 2: Complete tearing of the AC ligament which may cause partial dislocation of the shoulder joint.
  • Grade 3: This involves complete separation of the shoulder, causing the clavicle to dislocate and form a bump in the joint.
  • Grade 4, 5, 6: These are severe injuries that require surgical treatment


  • Falling directly on the edge of the shoulder
  • Trauma due to an automobile injury
  • A direct blow to the shoulder joint during sports like rugby or hockey


  • Pain in the shoulder
  • Popping sound when lifting the arm
  • Swelling and instability
  • Deformity or bulge may appear at the top of the shoulder
  • Bruising
  • Weakness in the shoulder and arms
  • Loss of mobility
  • Pain when lying on the affected shoulder


Physical examination: The orthopedic doctor may ask the patient to move and rotate the shoulder to check for pain. The patient may be made to lift weights so that the doctor can check for weakness and instability
Imagine Tests: An X-Ray test may be conducted to rule out fracture and examine the extent of injury.


Non Surgical Treatment

  • Rest: The patient may be advised to avoid activities that cause pain.
  • Ice: Applying an ice pack on the shoulder at frequent intervals may help to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Immobilization: A sling may be worn to reduce strain on the shoulder and promote healing.
  • Elevation: Keeping the shoulder in an elevated position may help to relieve pain.
  • Medication: NSAIDs and pain relieving medications may be prescribed by the doctor.
  • Taping: It is done to provide support to the shoulder joint. Taping helps to put pressure on the collar bone and keep the shoulder blade in place.
  • Exercise: To restore normal movement of the arm, certain stretching exercises may be recommended by the doctor.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery may be performed to trim a portion of the collar bone and prevent it from rubbing against the shoulder blade.
AC joint repair may also be recommended which involves reconstructing the torn ligaments using pins, screws and metal plates.

For complete treatment of Acromioclavicular Joint injury, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor.