Shoulder Separation

Shoulder Separation Symptoms & Treatment

Shoulder separation is an injury to the ligament between the shoulder blade and collarbone. In medical terms, a shoulder separation is an injury to the joint at the top of the shoulder where the acromion meets the clavicle, called the acromioclavicular (or AC) joint. The ligaments that hold these bones together are partially or completely torn, allowing the bones to separate.

A shoulder separation is extremely painful at the time of injury and should be evaluated immediately by an orthopedist. Other symptoms include

  • Shoulder pain
  • Sizeable bump over injury site
  • Swelling or bruising


A shoulder separation is graded by the severity of the injury and the position of the displaced bone. In almost all cases, a shoulder separation is treated with conservative treatment such as icing the injury, anti-inflammatory medications, and rest. In rare cases, shoulder surgery may be considered.

Why choose Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists?

The shoulder doctors at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists have the training, expertise, and experience to assess, diagnose, and treat your injury or condition individually to your needs.

See a Specialist

To learn more about the treatment options available for shoulder separation, please request an appointment online, or call 888-660-2663.

Make an Appointment

Appointment Resources

Once you have scheduled your appointment with one of our shoulder doctors, please use the link below to obtain our new patient forms and browse through our tips and preparation suggestions for your appointment. 

Preparing for My Appointment & New Patient Forms