AC joint separation is also known as the “separated shoulder”. It occurs when the capsule of the AC joint is damaged.
It occurs in people who participate in sports. There are 6 types of classifications to the injury. The most common type of injury that causes the separation is a fall on the tip of the shoulder or outstretched hand.
Type I: Sprain
This is an AC separation that involves trauma to the ligaments that form the joint, but no severe tearing or fracture.
This type is an AC separation involves complete tearing of the acromioclavicular ligament, sprain or partial tear of the coracoclavicular ligaments. This often causes a noticeable bump on the shoulder. The bump is permanent.
Both acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments are torn. The bump is formed.
This is a type III injury with avulsion of the coracoclavicular ligament from the clavicle, with the distal clavicle displaced posteriorly into or through the trapezius. This injury generally requires surgery.
This is a type III injury with an exaggeration of the vertical displacement of the clavicle from the scapula. This injury generally requires surgery.
This is a type III with inferior dislocation of the lateral end of the clavicle below the coracoid. This type is extremely rare, and it’s generally only involved with motor vehicle collisions. This requires surgery.
Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator cuff tears involve one or more inflamed rotator cuff tendons in the result of overusing, aging, falling on an outstretched hand, or a collision.
Labral tears to the shoulder is when the thick tissue is torn due to trauma to the shoulder joint. The labrum itself can also become more brittle with age, and can tear as part of the aging process.
The common types of labral tears are:
1.- SLAP Tears: torn labrum top of the shoulder socket where the bicep tendon attaches to the shoulder.
2.- Bankart Lesions: shoulder dislocation when the shoulder comes out of the joint, the labrum tears, and makes the shoulder vulnerable to future dislocations.
3.- Posterior Labral Tears: Less common injury, but seen in people with an internal impingement condition. The rotator cuff and labrum are pinched together in the back of the shoulder.
Shoulder sprain is a tear of the shoulder ligaments.
A sprain that tears ligaments in the shoulder most often occurs at the joint between the acromion and collarbone, called the acromioclavicular joint.
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a group of disorders that occur when the blood vessels or nerves in the thoracic outlet become compressed.
This causes pain in your shoulders and neck, also causes numbness in your fingers.
Causes of this syndrome are usually from trauma in a car accident, repetitive injuries from job or sports-related activities, and certain body defects. An old injury can lead to thoracic outlet syndrome as well.
- Pain, numbness, and tingling in the pinky, ring fingers and the inner forearm
- Pain and tingling in the neck and shoulders
- Signs of poor circulation in the hand or forearm
- Weakness of the muscles in the hand
Impingement/ swimmer shoulder/ pitcher shoulder
Impingement syndrome is caused by the excessive squeezing or rubbing of the rotator cuff and shoulder blade. The pain is a result of an inflamed bursa (lubricating sac) over the rotator cuff, inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons, calcium deposits in tendons from wear and tear. Shoulder impingement syndrome can lead to a torn rotator cuff.
Impingement occurs when the space between the rotator cuff and the acromion bone become narrowed, preventing tendons from moving freely. Tendonitis may follow in result of impingement.
Bursitis occurs when tendonitis and impingement syndrome cause inflammation of the bursa sacs that protect the shoulder.
General Shoulder Injury Symptoms:
- Aching sensation in the shoulder joint
- Catching of the shoulder with movement
- Pain with specific activities
- Limited to no range of motion in the shoulder
- Weakness in the joint
- Burning sensation due to movement or without movement of the shoulders