We use cookies to so our web site can function correctly. By Clicking "OK" or by clicking into any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more visit the cookies section of our privacy policy.

Privacy Statement

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

(Req)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required

Functional

These cookies allow us to adtertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Marketing

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.  All information collect is annonomas unless you provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Acromioclavicular (AC) joint injury

when the acromioclavicular joint is displaced

An AC joint injury is commonly referred to as shoulder separation

What is an AC joint injury?

The AC joint is the joint at the top of your shoulder between your collarbone (clavicle) and your shoulder blade (scapula). The AC joint is needed for the overhead and cross-body movement of your arm, as well as for giving you strength in physical activities such as pushing, pulling and lifting. A direct impact can injure your AC joint.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of an AC joint injury? icon plus

    Symptoms may include:

    • pain on the top of the shoulder which is exacerbated by heavy lifting, pushing, pulling and cross-body movements
    • swelling and/or bruising
    • restriction in your shoulder movements
    • if your collar bone (clavicle) is displaced a lump may be visible on top of your shoulder
  • How are AC joint injuries diagnosed? icon plus

    AC joint injuries are graded by severity from Grade I (minimal joint disruption) to Grade VI (severe injury).

    Your consultant will perform a physical examination of your shoulder and may conduct an X-ray or MRI to arrive at your diagnosis: These should be performed to assess the grade of injury which determines the best treatment options.

  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment options correspond to the grades:

    • Grades I and II — no displacement. These do not require surgery and most recover with a sling and mobilisation when comfortable. Very few may require a steroid injection if it remains painful.
    • Grade III — some displacement/subluxation. This is mostly treated without surgery but surgery may be considered depending on your activity level.
    • Grades IV to VI — complete displacement. These are usually treated with surgery. This involves the use of an artificial ligament. You may be in a sling after surgery, followed by physiotherapy.

Our shoulder consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in injuries to the shoulder and elbow, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
Consultant in theatres

Our locations

From complex orthopaedic surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a shoulder or elbow appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced upper limb consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top