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Shoulder Joint Separation Repair

If you need a Shoulder Joint Separation Repair, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What Is A Shoulder Joint Separation Repair?

A shoulder joint separation repair, also known as AC joint reconstruction or AC joint repair, is a surgical procedure performed to treat an injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which is the joint where the collarbone (clavicle) meets the acromion (part of the shoulder blade).

Shoulder joint separations typically occur due to trauma or a fall onto the shoulder, causing a disruption or tearing of the ligaments that stabilize the AC joint. The severity of the injury is classified using the Rockwood classification system, which ranges from grade I (mild) to grade VI (severe).

In cases where the AC joint injury is severe or significantly displaced, surgery may be recommended. The goals of the procedure are to realign and stabilize the joint, restore normal shoulder function, and reduce pain.

During a shoulder joint separation repair, the surgeon may use various techniques depending on the severity of the injury:

  1. Non-operative Repair: In mild cases (Rockwood grade I or II), non-surgical treatment such as rest, immobilization with a sling, and physical therapy may be sufficient for healing.
  2. AC Joint Reconstruction: For more severe injuries (Rockwood grade III to VI), surgery is usually recommended. The procedure involves reconstructing the torn ligaments using various methods, such as using sutures, synthetic grafts, or tendon grafts to restore stability to the AC joint.
  3. Stabilization Techniques: Different surgical techniques can be used to stabilize the AC joint, including using metal screws, anchors, or plates and screws to secure the clavicle and acromion in the proper position.

Following surgery, a rehabilitation program is initiated to aid in recovery. Physical therapy exercises, stretching, and strengthening exercises are prescribed to regain shoulder range of motion, strength, and stability. The rehabilitation program is typically tailored to the individual’s specific condition and goals.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications associated with shoulder joint separation repair, including infection, bleeding, nerve or blood vessel injury, hardware complications, stiffness, and failure of the ligaments to heal properly.

It is important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate your specific AC joint injury and determine the most appropriate treatment approach, which may or may not involve shoulder joint separation repair surgery. The surgeon will consider various factors, such as the severity of the injury, the patient’s activity level, and the individual’s goals, to provide a personalized treatment plan.


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