Shoulder Separation Treatment Specialist in Gallatin TN, and Nashville, TN
If you have suffered a shoulder injury, Dr. Thomas Gautsch MD at Southern Sports Medicine Institute can assess your condition and design a personalized treatment plan to meet your specific needs. His goal is to restore your function and help you get back to your daily activities as soon as possible. Symptoms of shoulder separation can vary according to how severe the case is, however, they often include intense pain immediately upon injury. These symptoms encompass limited movement due to pain, noticeable swelling, and bruising in the affected area. To learn more, contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Gallatin, TN, and Nashville, TN.
Table of Contents:
A shoulder separation, medically known as acromioclavicular joint injury, is a condition where the ligaments that connect the collarbone to the shoulder blade are torn. This results in either a partial or complete separation of these two shoulder components.
Unlike shoulder dislocation, which affects the main shoulder joint, shoulder separation involves the joint at the top of the shoulder. It typically occurs due to direct contact, such as a blow to the shoulder or a fall landing on it.
The severity of shoulder separation is classified based on the extent of ligament damage and the distance between the collarbone and the scapula.
Symptoms of shoulder separation can vary according to how severe the case is however, they often include intense pain immediately upon injury. These symptoms encompass limited movement due to pain, noticeable swelling, and bruising in the affected area.
The appearance of a deformity or bump at the top of the shoulder indicates displacement of the collarbone. Additionally, patients may experience tenderness over the joint, and the shoulder might appear abnormally positioned, either hanging lower than usual or with a protruding bone.
The severity of symptoms varies, with milder cases showing less noticeable deformities and severe cases presenting significant bumps and more intense pain.
The injury may also hinder routine activities that involve shoulder movement and, in some instances, produce popping sounds, especially if sustained during an accident.
Diagnosis of shoulder separation involves a comprehensive evaluation, including a review of the patient’s medical history, a physical examination, and imaging tests.
During the physical exam, doctors look for deformities or bumps on the shoulder, assess the range of motion, and evaluate muscle strength in the shoulder and arm. They also check for signs of nerve or blood vessel damage and assess skin color and temperature to gauge blood flow.
X-rays are crucial for confirming a diagnosis of shoulder separation, revealing the degree of displacement between the collarbone and the scapula. These images also aid in ruling out other injuries, such as fractures or rotator cuff tears. In some cases, X-rays of both the injured and uninjured shoulders may be taken for comparison. Advanced imaging tests like MRI or CT scans may be employed for a more detailed assessment in complex cases.
By visiting the specialists at Southern Sports Medicine Institute patients ensure a swift and accurate diagnosis. An early diagnosis is essential for prompt treatment interventions which are capable of providing symptom relief and improved health outcomes.
Most cases of shoulder separation are caused by trauma to the shoulder, which can occur in various ways. Common causes include falls directly onto the shoulder, impacts sustained in contact sports, car accidents, or any significant force applied to the top of the shoulder.
This trauma leads to the tearing of the acromioclavicular (AC) and possibly the coracoclavicular (CC) ligaments, potentially resulting in complete separation between the clavicle and the shoulder blade.
Several factors can increase the risk of shoulder separation. These include participation in high-impact sports, a history of similar injuries, or certain occupations that involve heavy labor or a risk of falling.
Age and physical condition also play a role; younger individuals and those with stronger ligaments and muscles are generally less prone to severe separations.
Preventative measures such as wearing protective gear during sports activities and practicing good posture and shoulder-strengthening exercises can help reduce the risk of shoulder separation.
Understanding the mechanism of injury and being aware of these risk factors are important for both preventing shoulder separation and seeking timely treatment in the event of an injury.
Shoulder separation treatment is available at Southern Sports Medicine Institute. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Gallatin, TN, and Nashville, TN. We serve patients from Gallatin TN, Nashville TN, Cottontown TN, Old Hickory TN, Goodlettsville TN, Springfield TN, Red Boiling Springs TN, White House TN, Lebanon TN, Greenbrier TN, Portland TN, Hendersonville TN, Lafayette TN, Castalian Springs TN, Westmoreland TN, Hartsville TN, Bowling Green KY, Bethpage TN, Lavergne TN, Franklin TN, Hermitage TN, and Mount Juliet TN.
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