Larissa Roux, MD FRCP Dip Sport Med, MPH, PhD, discusses Shoulder Separation Sports Medicine & Hockey:
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Featuring Dr. Larissa Roux, MD FRCP Dip Sport Med, MPH, PhD, Sport Medicine Physician Shoulder Separation Sports Medicine & Hockey: Duration: 2 minutes, 29 seconds
Shoulder separation is really common in hockey. It’s an injury directed at the acromioclavicular joint or the AC joint.
This is the junction between the clavicle and the scapula, and it is a disruption of the ligaments at this point. It’s often the result of a direct blow to the shoulder or sometimes being thrown into the boards and bracing oneself with an outstretched hand.
The symptoms that can be noticed when someone faces this injury are pain, focal swelling, bruising, as well as sometimes deformity if the clavicle still stays out of place. In terms of diagnosis, this is a fairly straightforward diagnosis, however it is really important that a sports medicine physician and a physiotherapist be involved in the care of a patient with this problem.
Immediately following the injury it’s really important to control the swelling and pain. This can be achieved by applying ice to the site of injury as well as immobilizing the shoulder to reduce pain. This can be achieved with an immobilizer or, simply, with a sling.
Anti-inflammatories, if not contraindicated and well-tolerated, can certainly be helpful in this acute phase. After that, probably within a couple of days, it would be really important for an athlete to go see their primary care sport medicine physician to ensure full recovery and also to ensure that there is no associated fracture at the site of injury.
As well, physiotherapy is a mainstay of treatment for this condition. Range of motion exercises as well as strengthening are really important. And lastly, the course of treatment is probably six weeks before one can return to play. And an athlete should not return to play if they’re experiencing any symptoms, pain or a reduction in strength.
If people have more questions, they should certainly consider consulting their local primary care physician, or preferably as an athlete, they may want to consider seeing a primary care sport medicine physician.
Local Practitioners: Sports Medicine Physician
This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.