A shoulder separation occurs when the ligaments connecting the clavicle (collarbone) and the scapula (shoulder blade) are torn or separated. A separation is different than a dislocation, which occurs when the shoulder comes completely out of the socket. If you have a shoulder injury, the doctors at California Orthopedics & Spine can evaluate your condition and create a treatment plan that works for your needs. We proudly serve all of Marin County and the entire Bay Area from our offices in Novato and Larkspur, CA.
Shoulder separation affects the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, not the shoulder joint. The AC joint connects the collarbone to the shoulder blade. When a person falls on or experiences a direct blow to the shoulder, it can cause damage to the ligaments that attach the collarbone to other parts of the shoulder. Shoulder separations can range from mild to severe, and your exact treatment will depend on the extent of your injury. More severe cases can cause a visible bump above the shoulder, but even patients with visible changes such as these can return to full or near-full function with proper treatment and rehabilitation.
Nonsurgical Treatments for Shoulder Separation
Nonsurgical treatment tends to be very effective, especially for less severe ligament damage, and usually, these options will be explored before surgery is considered. A sling, cold packs, medications, and other supportive devices can all help in controlling pain and preventing too much motion around the AC joint. Pairing these treatments with a long-term rehabilitation plan involving physical therapy can be very effective in reducing pain and restoring joint function.
When the visible deformity is severe, or pain does not improve with other treatments, surgery will be considered. The goal of surgery is to reconstruct the torn ligaments, restore function, and reduce pain. After surgical treatment, rehabilitation will still be necessary to rebuild strength and improve motion and flexibility. Our doctors work with some of the best physical therapists and joint specialists in the area, and we will be happy to review all of your treatment options with you when you come to our office.
Treatment for Shoulder Separation in Marin County, CA
California Orthopedics & Spine offers treatment for a wide variety of shoulder injuries, including shoulder separation. When you experience an injury, our specialists will review your condition and form a treatment plan that fits your needs. We always explore the least invasive treatments possible to restore your function and help you return to your active lifestyle as quickly as possible. To learn more, feel free to give our Marin County offices a call. We will be happy to help you.