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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: AC shoulder Seperation LVL 3

 paulmini - Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:11 am

back i the end of Oct 2008 I suffered a level 3 AC seperation to my right arm from direct impact with the ground. This injury has been left alone without any physical therapy and has healed with the clavical still seperated and at an angel of about 20 degrees. looking at recent x-rays it still looks like a level 3 separation. I am currently on deployment to Iraq and recently I have been feeling tingling down to my elbow, sharp and dull pains in the shoulder and up the right side of my neck as well as a burning sensation throughout my shoulder and my arm goes a little numb. The symptoms seem to vary depending on movement, and some days i am symptom free minus the dull pain. I have full range of motion, minus the pain that goes with it and quite a large deformaty (lump) in my shoulder. I am able to lift weights although again the pain comes later, I can endure having weight put on the shoulder as well with pain afterwards. My question is: almost a year has past without physical therapy, the symtpoms seems to be unpredictable from activity to activity. Surgery has been mentioned but PT has not been ruled out. I do not want to just put a bandaid on my injury until i get back to the states if it can be fixed or relatively fixed back home with surgery? any questions I should be asking the doctors here or anything i should be aware of as I move forward to get myself taken care of would be greatly appreciated
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:41 pm

User avatar Hello,
Grade III AC separations usually raise the question of whether to fix it surgically or treat it conservatively.

Arguably, I start with the following assessment:

Injury without clavicle fracture and/or no need to use the shoulder in heavy work favor conservative treatment(P.T.)

Clavicle fracture and/or need to do heavy work with the shoulder favors the surgical repair.

Other consideration like risk of infection and effects of anesthesia come into play as well.

Certainly, discussing all the options with an orthopedist would be in your best interest.

Take care.

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