What is a shoulder separation?
Violent overstretching of the acromioclavicular ligaments in the shoulder where it meets the collarbone (clavicle). Sprains involving two or more ligaments cause considerably more disability than single ligament strains. When the ligament is overstretched, it becomes tense and gives way at it weakest point, either where it attaches to the bone or within the ligament itself. If the ligament pulls away a fragment of bone it is called an avulsion fracture. There are three types of sprains:
- A mild or (grade I) sprain, Tearing of some ligaments fibers. There is no loss of strength.
- A moderate or (grade II) sprain, which is a rupture of a portion of the ligament, resulting in some loss of function.
- Severe (grade III) sprain, which is a complete rupture of the ligament or complete separation of the ligament from bone. There is a total loss of function. A severe sprain may require surgical repair. The higher grades of shoulder separation show injury to the coracoclavicular ligaments as well as to the acromioclavicular ligaments
How do you prevent a shoulder separation?
Warm up adequately prior to any physical activity, practice or competition. The athlete should participate in a strength and flexibility program appropriate for their sport especially a shoulder strengthening and conditioning program prior to throwing sports. For participation in contact sports, protect shoulders with special equipment such as the Antibody The Angle Shoulder brace™ or shoulder pads. After recovery, strapping or elastic wraps may protect against re-injury.
What are the signs of a Shoulder separation?
The signs of a shoulder dislocation are (1) Severe pain at the time of injury. (2) Feeling of popping or tearing inside the shoulder (3) swelling in the collarbone and shoulder along with the bruising that occurs soon after injury.
What Body parts are involved in a Shoulder separation?
The specific body parts involved are the the acromioclavicular ligaments of the shoulder and collarbone. Also the tissues surrounding the sprain, including blood vessels, tendons, bone, periosteum (covering of bone) and muscles.
What are the main causes of shoulder separations?
The main cause of a shoulder separation is (1) Downward stress on the shoulder that temporarily forces the shoulder away from the collarbone.(2) Falling on the point of the shoulder. Bruising that appears soon after injury. (3) Falling on outstretched hand or on the point of the elbow.
Am I at risk for a shoulder separation?
The risk of sustaining a shoulder separation increases with: (1) Contact sports. (2) Previous shoulder sprain or separation. (3) Obesity. (4) Poor muscle conditioning. (5) Inadequate protection from equipment.
What is the proper care for a shoulder separation?
The appropriate health care for a shoulder separation is a doctor’s care. This will include: (1) Application of a sling, tape or elastic bandage. (2) Self-care during rehabilitation. (3) Physical therapy (moderate or severe pain).
Are there any complications with a shoulder separation?
Some possible complications can be (1) Prolonged healing time if usual activities are resumed too soon. (2) Proneness to repeated injury. (3) Inflammation at the ligament attachment to the bone (periostitis). (4) Prolonged disability (sometimes). (5) Unstabile or arthritic acromioclavicular joint following repeated injury.
How long does a shoulder separation take to heal?
If this is a first time injury, proper care and sufficient healing time before resuming activity should prevent permanent disability. Ligaments have a poor blood supply, and totn ligaments require as much healing time as fractures. Average healing times are: (1) Mild sprains-2 to 3 weeks. (2) Moderate Sprains- 3 to 6 weeks. (3) Severe sprains- 6 to 8 weeks.
What treatment should I use for a shoulder separation?
Some supplemental first aids are the “R.I.C.E.” instructions: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (if possible). If the doctor does not apply a sling, tape or elastic bandage: Use an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. Place ice chips or cubes in a plastic bag. Wrap the bag in a moist towel, and place it over the injured area. After the first 72 hours, application of localized heat promotes healing by increasing blood circulation in the injured area. Use heat lamps, hot baths, showers, heating pads or heat liniments and ointments. Take whirlpool treatments, if available. Exercise all muscle groups not immobilized in a cast or sling. Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.
What medications, if any, are recommended?
Your doctor may prescribe: (1) Acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Topical liniments and ointments. (2) Stronger pain relievers. (3) Injections of along-acting local anesthetic to reduce pain. (4) Injections of a corticosteroid, such as triamcinolone, to reduce inflammation.
What activity is proper during rehabilitation and recovery?
Resume your normal activities after clearance from your doctor. During recovery balance the amount of food you eat with any change in your level of physical activity. Eat a variety of foods to get the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber you need for good health and healing. You can begin daily rehabilitation exercises when the cast or supportive wrapping is no longer needed and with the blessing of your doctor. Use ice massage for 10 minutes before and after exercise. Fill a large Styrofoam cup with water and freeze. Tear a small amount of the foam from the top so the ice protrudes. Massage firmly over the injured area in a circle about the size of a softball.
Call your Doctor if:
Be certain to call your doctor if you have symptoms of a moderate or severe shoulder sprain or if mild sprain persist longer than 2 weeks. Also call your doctor if: (1) Pain, swelling or bruising worsens despite treatment (2) You experience pain, numbness or coldness in the arm. (3) Blue, gray or dusky color appears in the finger nails. (4) Any of the following occurs after surgery: Increased pain, swelling, redness, drainage or bleeding in the surgical area. Signs of infection(headache, muscle aches, dizziness, or a general ill feeling with fever). New , unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.
How does the Angle Shoulder Brace™ prevent shoulder separations?
The Angle Shoulder brace™ provides muscle compression, joint stabilization and support, muscle heat circulation to increase blood flow and promote healing, strain distribution and it absorbs and spreads direct impact. The inner surface of The Angle Shoulder brace™ attaches to the surface of the shoulder, bicep , chest and upper back to spread strain over all those surfaces instead of concentrating it on the shoulder as is the case with the unprotected shoulder under an injury condition.
How does the Angle Shoulder Brace™ help if you have an existing Shoulder separation injury?
When used to protect an existing shoulder injury, The Angle Shoulder brace™ stabilizes and supports the shoulder joint, spreads strain and impact over the entire surface of the garment, raises muscle temperature to increase blood flow and promote healing in the joint and surrounding tissue.