Omaha Shoulder Separation Animation

Dr. Darren Keiser – Shoulder Separation Surgeon in Omaha

Omaha Shoulder Separation Information

Introduction to Shoulder Separation by Darren Keiser MD

omaha shoulder separationShoulder Separation is an injury to the joint at the top of the shoulder where the acromion meets the clavicle, called the acromioclavicular (or AC) joint.  

The ligaments that hold these bones together are partially or completely torn, allowing the bones to separate.

The most common cause for a separation of the AC joint is from a fall directly onto the shoulder. The fall injures the ligaments that surround and stabilize the AC joint.

If the force is severe enough, the ligaments attaching to the underside of the clavicle are torn. This causes the separation of the collarbone and the shoulder blade. The shoulder blade (scapula) actually moves downward from the weight of the arm. This creates a bump or bulge above the shoulder.

Shoulder Separation Surgeon

Do I need a Shoulder Separation Surgeon?

Shoulder Separation injury is easy to identify when it causes deformity. When there is less deformity, the location of pain and x-rays help the doctor make the diagnosis. Sometimes having the patient hold a weight in the hand can increase the deformity, which makes the injury more obvious on x-rays.

Surgery can be considered if pain persists or the deformity is severe. A surgeon might recommend trimming back the end of the collarbone so that it does not rub against the shoulder blade bone (acromion).

Where there is significant deformity, reconstructing the ligaments that attach to the underside of the collarbone is helpful. This type of surgery works well even if it is done long after the problem started. These operations can be done arthroscopically or open, with a plate or without. Sometimes, if a plate is used to assist with the surgery, it is usually removed after healing of the shoulder separation.

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Contact Omaha shoulder separation surgeon Darren Keiser for a consultation.