Acromioclavicular Injuries

The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is the joint in the shoulder. There are many bands of tissue (ligaments) that surround the AC bones and joints. These bands of tissue can tear, which can lead to sprains and separations. The bones of the AC joint can also break (fracture).

HOME CARE

  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.

  • Wear your sling as told by your doctor. Remove the sling before showering and bathing. Keep the shoulder in the same place as when the sling is on. Do not lift the arm.

  • Gently tighten your figure-eight splint (if applied) every day. Tighten it enough to keep the shoulders held back. There should be room to place your finger between your body and the strap. Loosen the splint right away if you lose feeling (numbness) or have tingling in your hands.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor.

GET HELP RIGHT AWAY IF:

  • Your medicine does not help your pain.

  • You have more puffiness (swelling) or your bruising gets worse rather than better.

  • You were unable to follow up as told by your doctor.

  • You have tingling or lose even more feeling in your arm, forearm, or hand.

  • Your arm is cold or pale.

  • You have more pain in the hand, forearm, or fingers.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.