Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) Injuries

The acromioclavicular joint, also known as the AC joint, is where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the shoulder blade (scapula). AC joint injuries are commonly caused by direct impact to the shoulder; these injuries can also be caused when a person falls and lands on an out-stretched hand, as this exerts pressure on the collarbone.

Symptoms of AC joint injuries

The most common symptoms are pain, swelling, limited movement and the increased visibility of the collarbone; this occurs when the bone has been displaced from the scapula.

Treating AC joint injuries

Mild injuries will usually heal fairly quickly with the help of plenty of rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medication; during recovery time the affected arm should be placed in a sling. More serious cases will often need surgery, which may be open or conducted by means of keyhole surgery. Following surgery, patients will be urged to rest for a considerable length of time; the injury should be allowed to heal fully before they start training again.

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