Acromioclavicular joint separations

  • Ryan J. Warth
  • Frank Martetschläger
  • Trevor R. Gaskill
  • Peter J. MillettEmail author
Shoulder (JS Dines, Section editor)


Acromioclavicular (AC) joint separations are common injuries of the shoulder girdle, especially in the young and active population. Typically the mechanism of this injury is a direct force against the lateral aspect of the adducted shoulder, the magnitude of which affects injury severity. While low-grade injuries are frequently managed successfully using non-surgical measures, high-grade injuries frequently warrant surgical intervention to minimize pain and maximize shoulder function. Factors such as duration of injury and activity level should also be taken into account in an effort to individualize each patient’s treatment. A number of surgical techniques have been introduced to manage symptomatic, high-grade injuries. The purpose of this article is to review the important anatomy, biomechanical background, and clinical management of this entity.


Acromioclavicular joint AC joint AC dislocation AC separation Shoulder separation Rockwood classification AC joint reconstruction Coracoclavicular ligaments AC joint reconstruction complications AC joint reconstruction outcomes 



F Martetschläger: none; TR Gaskill: none; RJ Warth: none; PJ Millett: consultant to and receives royalties from Arthrex Inc., has stock/stock options with Game Ready, VuMedi.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan J. Warth
    • 1
  • Frank Martetschläger
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Trevor R. Gaskill
    • 3
  • Peter J. Millett
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Steadman Philippon Research InstituteVailUSA
  2. 2.Department for Orthopaedic Sports MedicineUniversity Hospital rechts der Isar, Technical University MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.Bone and Joint Sports Medicine InstituteNaval Medical Center PortsmouthPortsmouthUSA
  4. 4.The Steadman ClinicVailUSA

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