What is Shoulder Separation?

Many people think that shoulder separation is the same as a dislocated shoulder. In his latest blog, Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy explains that they’re actually different and shares more about shoulder separation. Here is an excerpt:

“Put your hand on your clavicle (or collar bone as many people call it) and follow it outwards as far as you can toward your shoulder; that big bump at the end on the top of your shoulder is called your acromioclavicular joint or “AC joint”. Traumatic injuries to this joint are common accounting for 9% of injuries to the shoulder. Sprain of the AC joint is often referred to as a separated shoulder.”

Check out the full article and learn more about shoulder separation, symptoms and how to treat it. One of these treatments for shoulder separation may involve wearing a shoulder brace to help support the shoulder as it heals. If you are experiencing shoulder pain or soreness, especially after a traumatic injury, consult your doctor for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

What is the Difference Between Shoulder Separation and Shoulder Dislocation?

Shoulder separation and shoulder dislocation are often mixed up with one another. They are very similar injuries, but they happen in different locations in the shoulder.

There are two primary joints in the shoulder. The glenohumeral joint is where your upper arm connects with your shoulder. This is also known as the “ball and socket” joint because of the way these structures are shaped. When the ball becomes partially or completely out of the socket, this is known as a shoulder dislocation.

The acromioclavicular joint (also known as the AC joint) is where your shoulder connects with your collarbone. When the structures in this area move too far apart from each other and no longer line up correctly, this is known as a shoulder separation.

Both shoulder dislocation and shoulder separation involve the bones in the area moving too far apart from each other – either partially or completely out of place. Both injuries also often include partially or fully torn ligaments. As you can see, shoulder separation and shoulder dislocation are very similar to one another. The key difference is whether you’ve injured your glenohumaral joint or your AC joint.