Acromio-Clavicular Joint Separation: Episode 64
In this episode: AC separation the difference between Grades I, II, III. What your recovery time and potential interventions could be.
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Brief except from the episode:
Acromio-Clavicular Joint Separation, better known as AC joint separation. This is commonly confused with shoulder dislocation, or subluxation.
With the Acromio-clavicular separation, the joint is no longer lined up. The clavicle has popped up and it will result in what is called a step-off deformity. This can be mild (grade I), to sever (grade III).
Grade I Acromio-Clavicular Joint Separation is diagnosed as partial acromio-clavicluar (AC) ligament sprains. Grade II will be a partial to full rupture of the AC ligament and Grade III is a full rupture of the AC ligament as well as the corico-clavicluar (CC) ligament
Typially this injury occurs in the younger population and most often during sports or from a fall. In Colorado we see them most often from a full during mountain biking, skiing or with contact sports like football and hockey.
A grade I acromio-clavicular joint separation will become comfortable in about 7-10 days and most people can return to sport in 6 weeks. A grade III injury will typically result in surgery and return to sport can take as long as 1 year. Depending on the severity of the Grade II injury return to sport can take between 2-6 months.
Just about every acromio-clavicular joint separation we see in the clinic will benefit from taping, either Kinesio tape or McConnel tape. This applies downward pressure on the joint, improves comfort and stability and allows the individual to move their arm more easily.
Increasing range of motion is the most important aspect of recovery from an acromio-clavicular joint separation.
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