New York Daily News—October 25, 2009
With "shoulder" or AC separations, the joint between the collarbone ("clavicle") and shoulder blade ("scapula") is injured. The ligaments and capsule connecting the bones can be injured to varying degrees depending upon the severity of the injury. It is commonly caused by a fall directly on the "point" of the shoulder, or a direct blow, such as a quarterback sack or check into the boards in hockey. Disruption of the AC joint results in significant pain and tenderness at the front of the shoulder joint.
The pain is most severe when an athlete attempts overhead or throwing movements, and is even sensitive to the pressure of protective padding. As the AC joint is relatively superficial, separation injuries are usually accompanied by a "bump" from the prominence of the collarbone at this location. Point tenderness to this location usually confirms the diagnosis clinically. Radiographs are helpful in ruling out associated fractures and in grading the severity of the separation.
The severity of an AC joint injury depends on how severely the ligaments and capsule that stabilize this joint are damaged.
Read the full story at nydailynews.com.
Rock Positano, DPM, and Josh Dines, MD, practice sports medicine at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery.