View Full Version : AC Joint

19-05-2004, 12:41 PM

I was diagnosed with a Grade II AC Joint separation about 7-8 weeks ago and i'm having trouble with the recovery, was wondering if you guys can help.

I was given elastic exercises (elastic adduction & rotation) and i'll admit i probably haven't done these as much as I should have. That being said, my shoulder didn't feel good each day after doing them.

You can visibly see the lump of where my collarbone is raised up, something i was told by the Physio will never go away. After reading up on AC joint injuries, it says visible deformities usually relate to a Grade III injury?

My question is.. Is there something else i should be doing? And is there any way i can get my collarbone to sit properly back down like it was before?
Because i'm afraid if i return to playing rugby and i get hit on it.. well it looks and feels really vunerable sticking up like that. I still can't even sleep on it.

I've already played 2 games of bball but decided to stop and just concentrate on exercises because even if my shoulder felt good before the game, it would just feel unstable for the next week.
Even now i get heaps of clicking when raising my arm and things like that.

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated.


19-05-2004, 05:27 PM
Does sound like this was in fact a grade 3 injury. Some of these lead to chronic pain, but in your case it appears that semi-chronic instability of the joint (i.e. the feeling that it moves up and down) is the outcome.

Most A/C joint injuries don't require surgery, but a few do, and it is more likely that you are heading into this category. However, it is worth giving it a bit more time, as the joint might become more stable with time.

It is also worth living with the symptoms if you find you can get back to playing rugby without too many problems. The A/C joint doesn't have a lot of function in other life, so you definitely wouldn't operate on the basis of a chronic lump which was fully functional and non-painful.

20-05-2004, 02:09 PM
Hey, thanks for your response.

I could live with having the lump there, but because its so raised it just seems to me that if i get hit on it it'll cause me more trouble in the future, regardless of how much strengthening I do. I can press on it now and visibly see it press down, it doesn't seem good to me.

What exactly does surgery do? Does it help with the raised collarbone situation, or does it repair the strained ligaments? And what recovery time am I looking at if surgery is the answer?

For now I think i should jsut stop playing sport all together, because its just not improving.

22-05-2004, 12:27 PM
Definitely if you are playing sport for the fun of it (rather than the money, like the professionals that are written about on this site) then you should have a break if it is no longer fun because you are in pain from injuries.

A/C joint surgery is of two types - a resection of bone to relieve pain from the joint (which you probably don't need) and a stabilisation to stop the joint moving up and down (which it sounds like you might benefit from IF you want to hurry back to rugby). However, the operation will take a 3 month recovery, and you will be left with a scar and possibly a joint that still hurts a bit.

If I was in the same position I would take up jogging, cycling or golf for a while and see how your joint is at the start of next football season. If I was a professional player in the same position, I would be asking the doctor to needle me up for the rest of the season, followed by a visit to the surgeon at the end of the year.