Acromioclavicular joint injury ‘ACJ’

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INJURY TITLE

Acromioclavicular joint injury ‘ACJ’

 

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

An injury classically suffered after falling directly onto the shoulder.  Typically seen in triathletes who, when clipped in to their peddles loose balance and fall off the bike.

 

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The ACJ doesn’t have a lot of movement but the little it does have is important.  At this there is a tough support network for this joint.  Most important structure in terms of support is the ligament (split in two) going from the collar bone to this joint.  If this is broken or damaged, treatment is much trickier.

 

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

 

 

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

It is graded from type 1 to 6 depending on the severity and tissue inclusion.  Type 1 injury includes irritation of the capsule surrounding the joint and some of the smaller ligaments.  A type 6 injury involves complete rupture of all the ligaments and displacement of the two bone ends that make the joint.

 

Assessment would aim to clarify where along this continuum your specific injury would lie.  Also X-Ray can be used to determine the extent of any displacement, thus aiding the decision to use surgical interventions or not.

 

 

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

Management is based around swelling and pain management.  The joint should be immobilised as needed and movement and rehab should be attempted as pain allows.

 

Strengthening exercises are important for the whole shoulder complex.  Manual therapy would help combat any loss in joint range.

 

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

Rotator cuff strengthening

Pec stretch

etc

 

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X MEDIC     X PODIATRY     

 

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