The Shoulder Joint is made up of 4 joints.
- The Glenohumeral joint, (the ball meets the socket) – This is the commonest joint to dislocate and commonly referred to as shoulder dislocation.
- Sternoclavicular (SC) joint (the collar bone meets the chest bone),
- Acromioclavicular (AC) joint (the collar bone meets the acromion of the scapula- the ‘tip’ of the shoulder). AC joint dislocation is the focus of current article.
- Scapulothoracic joint (the shoulder blade meets with the ribs at the back of the chest) and the.
The Acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) is situated on top of the shoulder and only connected by ligaments. ACJ joint dislocation is a relatively common injury. The mechanism of this injury is usually a heavy fall onto the tip of the shoulder, as in when someone slips and fall from a two wheeler onto the side. You may notice a more prominent ‘bump’ at the shoulder tip when compared to the other shoulder. The injury is seen most commonly in sports such as football, rugby, bicycle, horse riding and skiing.
Treatment depends on the type of injury. For simple injuries, your pain, range of movement and function can improve with Physiotherapy. Some patients may have ongoing functional problems as they cannot return fully to their sport. Depending on your ongoing symptoms and damage to the joint, your doctor may offer you surgery to repair the joint.
The operation is done by an incision at the top of your shoulder. Most people are given a full general anaesthetic and normally discharged from hospital next day. There are numerous techniques to treat this injury, and most modern methods involve stabilising the joint by synthetic material or tendon graft. Dr Sarda’s own invention parachute technique has been successfully used to treat many patients with published results.