Dr. Carlos Rebollón

Acromioclavicular Dislocation
in Panama

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Acromioclavicular Dislocation

Acromioclavicular Dislocation

Acromioclavicular dislocation is one of the most common traumatic injuries seen in a shoulder specialist’s office.

To facilitate understanding of the topic, let’s start by defining in simple terms what acromioclavicular dislocation is. Acromioclavicular dislocation is an injury caused by a direct blow, a fall, or trauma, where there is a total or partial tearing of the ligaments that connect the clavicle to the scapula.


The diagnosis of this type of injury is made by a shoulder specialist, who is the most qualified person to perform a physical examination of the joint area and assess the degree of the injury through relevant radiological studies.

The ligament tear is accompanied by the dislocation of the shoulder and clavicle, and the greater the displacement, the more severe the ligamentous injury. Acromioclavicular dislocation is characterized by symptoms such as acute pain, tenderness to touch, functional limitation, and a slight deformity that alters the normal appearance of the shoulder.

Blunt shoulder trauma, falls from motorcycles, bicycles, or skiing, and regular participation in contact sports (rugby, American football, judo, etc.) are some of the main causes of this type of injury.

Diagnostico Y Causas De La Luxacion Acromioclavicular


Type I:

Sprain of the acromioclavicular ligament, stable joint, no radiographic changes.

Type II:

Rupture of the acromioclavicular ligament, mild instability, sprain in the coracoclavicular ligaments.

Type III:

Total rupture of the acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments, resulting in moderate instability.

Type VI:

Ligament rupture with posterior displacement of the distal end of the clavicle.

Type V:

Total rupture of the acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments, as well as fascial tissue.

Type VI:

An infrequent injury where the clavicle is dislocated in an inferior position, displaced beneath the acromion or coracoid process.

Grados De La Luxacion Acromioclavicular


The treatment method to be applied depends on the severity of the dislocation. Mild injuries, comprising types I, II, and III, can be treated with bandages and conservative methods; however, individuals with type IV, V, or VI acromioclavicular dislocation often require surgery.

Standard treatment for mild injuries includes analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as the use of a splint or sling to keep the shoulder in a resting position for a few weeks. Additionally, the doctor may suggest performing progressive mobility exercises to maintain joint function and prevent muscle atrophy.


Surgery is recommended for patients with significant displacement of the clavicle, and chronic cases may require a tendon graft. This type of surgical intervention can be performed through open surgery or arthroscopy. In both cases, the shoulder specialist must have the knowledge and expertise to carry out acromioclavicular reconstruction techniques and achieve successful results.


Physiotherapy support can be a great ally in overcoming acromioclavicular dislocation, especially when the physiotherapist includes isometric shoulder exercises. These exercises help manage pain, strengthen muscles, and minimize the risk of further injuries.


In this section, we briefly answer some popular questions about the topic.

The recovery time for mild acromioclavicular dislocation can take around 8 weeks, and even less time for type I or II injuries. In complex cases, patients may resume basic activities within an estimated time of 2 months. However, to return to sports, a minimum of about 6 months should be waited.

Acromioclavicular dislocation can affect other internal structures. Therefore, when not adequately treated, it can lead to impaired joint function, lack of stability, and problems associated with ligaments, joint capsule, or muscles.

Arthroscopic acromioclavicular dislocation surgery (one of the most common nowadays) typically takes approximately 90 to 120 minutes. Most patients do not require hospitalization, and they can be discharged on the same day of the surgery.

Tratamientos Para La Luxacion Acromioclavicular
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