This condition is not so much a separation, but an injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. The AC joint is the point at the shoulder where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade at its highest point. Keep reading to see what causes it and how quickly it heals.

Causes & Triggers

  • Accident or fall
  • Blunt trauma
  • Congenital, degenerative or inflammatory processes
  • Contact sports injury
  • Direct blow or hard strike

Signs & Symptoms

  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Visible bump at top of shoulder
  • Weakness

Tips & Treatments

  • With proper treatment, full recovery often occurs within just a few weeks.
  • If stretching or tearing of nearby ligaments accompanies this injury, surgical repair may be necessary.


These lists are not inclusive of all conditions and procedures. In order to obtain a complete and accurate diagnosis, a physician should assess your individual situation. Following diagnosis, your physician will discuss appropriate treatment options with you – both surgical and non-surgical. Schedule an appointment with an Orthopedic ONE physician.