The AC Joint and What a Pain It Can Be

OK, so you were playing your beer league hockey game Friday night and you took a shot and then put your toe in a hole from the figure skaters who had the ice before your game. Down you went and you had your right arm outstretched in front of you.

Now it’s Saturday morning and you can barely lift your arm. It feels as if the whole mechanism in your shoulder is weak. Sounds as if you damaged your AC joint.

What is the AC joint?

The acromioclavicular (now you know why everyone calls it the AC joint!) joint is located where the uppermost part of the shoulder blade (called the acromion) meets your collarbone. This joint is often easy to designate as many people have a bump at the spot.

How is the AC joint injured?

AC joint injuries often occur as a result of a fall or other direct trauma. This can cause the acromion to move or separate from the clavicle (separated shoulder), or the ligaments can be stretched or torn.

What to do if you injure your AC joint

If you’re that Saturday morning person with the stretched, possibly torn ligaments in your AC joint, you should probably make an appointment to see Dr. Desio. We’ll start conservatively, giving you a sling to keep your shoulder still and giving you some other instructions. If your pain is more severe or prolonged, we may need to perform surgery to repair torn ligaments or restore the position of the clavicle.

AC joint injuries are no fun, but they should be attended to so that you can limit their duration (you’ll soon see that the AC joint is used on almost all arm movements!). Call Dr. Desio at 508-363-6363 and let’s take a look at it.

Posted in: Shoulder Replacement, Sports Injuries

Leave a response

Ask Dr. Desio

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



123 Summer St.
Suite 520
Worcester, MA 01608

Tel: 508.363.6363

123 Summer St. Suite 520, Worcester, MA 01608 508.363.6363