Shoulder separation injuries

Picture of type I, type II, and type III shoulder separation injuries

A shoulder separation is the partial or complete separation of two parts of the shoulder: the collarbone (clavicle) and the end (acromion) of the shoulder blade (scapula). A shoulder separation can be type I, in which the acromioclavicular (AC) ligament is partially torn, but the coracoclavicular (CC) ligament is not injured. In a type II shoulder separation, the AC ligament is completely torn, and the CC ligament is either partially torn or not injured. A type III shoulder separation occurs when both the AC and CC ligaments are completely torn.

Last Updated: September 23, 2009

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma & Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedics

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