Injuries to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint are among the most common shoulder injuries in the active population. The AC joint is located where the clavicle (collarbone) meets the highest point of the acromion (shoulder blade). An AC fracture is an injury that occurs when a break or crack becomes present in a bone in the AC joint area. A broken shoulder in this area is often the result of a direct hit to the “point” of the shoulder or from a fall onto the AC joint. Dr. Peter Millett, orthopedic shoulder specialist in the greater Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado area, is highly trained and experienced at treating a broken shoulder bone with a non-surgical or surgical approach.
AC Fracture Symptoms
A broken shoulder bone in the AC joint area will cause a patient to experience shoulder pain, swelling, bruising and limited range of motion. Some patients may also experience a visible deformity that is similar to a bump underneath the skin, representing the AC fracture.
AC Fracture Diagnosis
Many cases of a broken shoulder in the AC joint area are diagnosed with an X-ray and a physical examination of the shoulder.
AC Fracture Treatment
A broken shoulder bone in and around the AC joint is commonly treated in a sling and with other conservative measures such as rest, ice and activity modifications. Dr. Millett may recommend shoulder surgery if there is a moderate amount of bone displacement so the bones can be brought back together and placed in the proper position. Surgery is also often recommended in patients who have experienced an open AC fracture or if the broken bone has ruptured through the skin.
For additional information on an AC fracture, or to learn more about treatment options for a broken shoulder bone, please contact Dr. Peter Millett, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in the Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado area.