AC Ligament Tears Treated by Top Orthopedic Surgeons at Mercy

Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hand Center - Baltimore

At The Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand Center at Mercy, orthopedic surgeons are dedicated to helping patients suffering from shoulder separation. Our doctors work individually with each patient to determine treatment options for a shoulder separation due to an AC ligament tear.  

About the Condition

The AC, or acromioclavicular ligaments stabilize the shoulder joints. An AC ligament tear is a serious injury and a form of shoulder separation. The most common cause of an AC ligament tear is falling on the shoulder.  

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of an AC ligament tear include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Swelling in the shoulder
  • Prominent bump at the front of the shoulder

An AC ligament tear is easy to diagnose when a deformity of the shoulder occurs. However, if there is not a deformity, an AC ligament tear can be more difficult to diagnose. It is important for patients to explain the exact location of their pain to an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder conditions. X-rays are then taken determine if there is a tear in the AC ligament.

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Treatment Options

Initial treatment for an AC ligament tear includes:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Gradual return to full range of motion

In severe cases when pain is persistent or the shoulder remains deformed after initial conservative treatment, surgical reconstruction of the ligaments is the recommended treatment option. Rehabilitation is needed following correction of the AC ligament tear.