AC Joint Injury

The AC (Shoulder) Joint :

Acromio-Clavicular (AC) joint injury is relatively uncommon though but can be a painful condition especially in overhead athletes. The main symptoms include pain and swelling over the top of the shoulder joint. The shoulder pain increases with lifting weight and crossing the affected arm to the opposite shoulder. The pain may be acute or chronic depending on the mode of AC joint injury. Most commonly patients present with a history of either a fall, repeated weight lifting or trauma to the shoulder. Specifically patients involved in repeated overhead abduction and across arm adduction suffer with early pain and arthritis of the joint.

Common Causes of AC Joint Pain

  1. AC joint Sprain
  2. AC joint tear
  3. Collar bone (Lateral End clavicle ) fracture near joint
  4. Osteoarthritis

Traumatic AC Joint injury may be severe and may require urgent intervention in the form of expert consult from a shoulder specialist for correct diagnosis and treatment. Fractures around the shoulder typically involve soft tissues(ligaments) and bone and are seen in collision sports and road traffic accidents. The patients may suffer with a simple fall on the AC Joint which leads to a significant pain and disability.Range of movement is typically reduced by shoulder pain in both acute and chronic cases post injury.

AC Joint Injury causes disruption of Ligaments

Treatment of AC Joint Pain

Correct timely diagnosis is perhaps the most important step of treatment. Meet the best Sports Medicine doctors and physiotherapists for diagnosis and best treatment of AC joint Pain. Both medical and surgical treatment have specific indications and physiotherapy plays an important role in rehabilitating the patient to his/her routine. 

Essential physiotherapy involves establishing the range of movement first followed by strength training and development of balance sense. A usual patient recovers by about 6- 8 weeks with complete range of movement (phase1) and gains comparable strength in 3-4 months post treatment. Know more about AC joint pain in the following video.

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