Shoulder Separation Overview
A shoulder separation occurs after a fall or a sharp blow to the top of the shoulder. This injury is usually sports related or due to car accidents or falls. This is not the same as a shoulder dislocation, which occurs at the large joint where the arm attaches to the shoulder, although the two may appear to be the same.
The shoulder separation, or acromioclavicular (AC) dislocation, is an injury to the junction between the collarbone and the shoulder. It is usually a soft-tissue or ligament injury but may include a fracture (broken bone). In severe shoulder separations, the coracoclavicular (CC) ligament is also injured.
Depending on the damage done to the joint, there are different classifications (grades) to define the amount of injury:
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