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AC Joint Separation Treatment Options

Treatment of AC joint separation depend upon the severity of the injury.

Conservative non-surgical treatment

Mild and low-grade injuries are treated conservatively with a sling, rest, icing, anti-inflammatory over the counter medication, and physical therapy. Most people including athletes can return to normal function with conservative management, even with a deformity. When patients have chronic pain that doesn’t respond to conservative management, joint injections can provide significant relief.

Shoulder surgery

Treatment of severe ligament injuries often depends on the patient’s work and sports activities, as well as Dr. Godin’s experience. There are a wide range of available new surgical procedures depending on whether treating an acute injury or chronic defined as initial trauma that occurred more than 3 weeks ago. If there is significant deformity, Dr. Godin may recommend a procedure to trim the collarbone, to prevent it from rubbing against the shoulder blade.

Arthroscopic or open reconstruction

Arthroscopic or open ligament reconstruction with tendon augmentation may be recommended. Post-operative treatment will include a shoulder sling for immobilization for three weeks after surgery, limited range of motion with no activities of daily living for the first 6 weeks after surgery. Full recovery can take about six months after surgery. The rate of return to play after surgery is consistently high.

Dr. Jonathan Godin is a world-class surgeon and a leader in sports medicine. Trained at the renowned Steadman Clinic in Vail Colorado, he is fellowship trained in advanced arthroscopic and reconstructive surgical techniques for the treatment of complex orthopedic and sports related injuries. Contact him at his Vail, Frisco, or Edwards Colorado office to schedule a consultation to receive the correct diagnosis and all your treatment options.

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