By General Info
A separated shoulder, not to be confused with shoulder dislocation, often occurs during a fall
on the apex or tip of the shoulder, resulting in a tear of the ligament that holds the collarbone
to the top of the shoulder. Although this type of injury is considered to be a sprain, there are
varying degrees of tears.
Severity of the sprain is based on the level of disability following the injury. Minor symptoms
can occur, such as soreness or a small bump located in the area, but more serious injuries can
result in loss of range of motion or lack of strength in the shoulder. In many cases, X-rays can
only show evidence of more severe, or Grade Three, separation.
Unlike many shoulder dislocations that require surgery to repair the injury, there are few cases
of surgical intervention needed for separations. Treatment is generally conservative with short-
term immobilization, ice, physical therapy, and exercise. In fact, many studies have shown that
such conservative treatment and surgery essentially have the same results one year after a