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Dislocations of the Acromioclavicular joint

Flash Presentation on ACJ Injuries

For more than 40 years, the treatment of acute AC joint subluxation and dislocation has been a source of controversy among orthopaedic surgeons

Divided into:

  • Those who pridefully report their good results after surgical treatment using one of the numerous methods of fixation developed with or without biomechanical research

  • Those who disdainfully report their excellent results after closed (or non) treatment and point to open management of these injuries as "tantamount to shooting a dove with an elephant hunter's rifle . . . the antithesis of sound practice."



Classification of AC separations (Post and Rockwood)

Fracture Type

Injury Pattern



AC joint capsule partially disrupted

Not indicated


AC joint capsule and CC ligaments partially disrupted

Not indicated


AC joint capsule and CC ligaments completely disrupted



Type III + avulsion of CC ligament from clavicle, with the distal clavicle displaced posteriorly into or through the trapezius



Type III but with exaggeration of the vertical displacement of the clavicle from the scapula- coracoclavicular interspace 100- 300% greater than the normal side



Type III + inferior dislocation of lateral end of clavicle


* AC, acromioclavicular; CC, coracoclavicular



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