Dislocated Clavicle | Separated Shoulder – Causes and Treatment

A dislocated clavicle is a common injury among sports with a high probability of falling or being tackled. A dislocated clavicle is also known as a separated shoulder, and it is a painful injury, and it will have a significant impact on performance because it will limit your ability to make contact and use your shoulders. The joints of the clavicle are vulnerable when you fall on your shoulder because of the pressure it puts on the bone. There is not a lot you can do to prevent these accidental falls and tackles, but there are things you can do to make the joint stronger.

Anatomy of Dislocated Clavicle or Separated Shoulder

Dislocated Clavicle | Separated Shoulder - Causes and Treatment

The clavicle or collar bone attaches to the Acromion of the shoulder. The ligament between the two bones is called the Acromioclavicular ligament. You are considered to have a separated shoulder or a dislocated clavicle when this ligament tears to any degree.

  • Grade 1 Tear – a Partial tear of the ligament with no movement of the collarbone
  • Grade 2 Tear – a Partial tear of the ligament with the movement of collarbone causing it too look higher than the other collarbone
  • Grade 3 Tear – a Complete tear of the ligament with a lot of displacement of the collarbone

Dislocated Clavicle On The Side of The Sternum

Dislocated Clavicle

The second type of dislocated clavicle is if the bone tears from the sternum. The joint is called the sternoclavicular joint. It is the same injury as the one on the shoulder side, but it is just on the opposite end of the clavicle.

Causes of Dislocated Clavicle

You suffer a separated shoulder from falling on your shoulder most of the time. This is made worst when someone falls on top of you. You see this injury with a lot of o Quarterbacks because when they throw it turns them sideways and then the defender will tackle them and fall on them. When the pressure is too much, the clavicle will either break or dislocate.

Common for Sports Like

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Rock Climbing
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Skiing
  • Volleyball

Symptoms of a Separated Shoulder or Dislocated Clavicle

  • Intense pain as soon as the injury occurs
  • Tenderness of shoulder and collarbone
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformed Shoulder

To diagnose the injury, the health care provider will have to put you through an evaluation. Many times imaging will need to be done to make sure that the doctor has an n accurate assessment of the injury.

Treatment of a Separated Shoulder or Dislocated Clavicle

Immediate after the injury you may want to put ice on the clavicle and take some pain medication. These things are not going to help you in the long run but the injury is a painful one, and you may need it to be able to rest. The second thing you should do is get your arm in a sling right away as you want to minimize any movement of your shoulder. Especially if you have a partial tear, you could quickly turn it into a full tear with the wrong move.

Most people want to know how long it will take to heal. The general length is about 6-8 weeks for a grade, but it depends on many factors.

  • How quickly did you get treatment?
  • What was the quality of that treatment?
  • How severe was the injury?
  • Did you do a good job not moving it for the time it was in a sling?
  • Are you trying to return to a contact sport?

Prevention of a Separated Shoulder or Dislocated Clavicle

It is hard to prevent this injury since you are dealing with a cause that is random. Muscles help us to move the bones, but they also offer protection. The reason football players tend to be so muscular is that it helps them to protect their bone structure by having more muscle mass.

The best thing you can do to prevent clavicle injuries is to build the muscles around the clavicle which include:

  • Shoulder
  • Traps
  • Chest

By building up these three muscles, you give your bones and joints or muscles to absorb forces and help prevent some of these injuries. Outside of that, there is not much else you can do other than trying not to fall directly on your shoulder.

Finding The Best Local Sports Medicine Providers for a Separated Shoulder or Dislocated Clavicle

9INE POINT Health is the best place to start your search for a health care provider to help you stay healthy. The key to success as an athlete is staying healthy and making sure the injuries are dealt with appropriately. Any athlete that plays a contact sport is at more risk of a Separated Shoulder or a Dislocated Clavicle, and the key to success as an athlete is staying healthy.

9INE POINT Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. For example, you can look for a Physical Therapist with any skill set you need. It does not matter what kind of provider you need, 9INE POINT Health can help you find them and help you to sort through their skills.

If you are unsure where to start your journey, 9INE POINT Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions. From there 9INE POINT Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or making sure you don’t run into Separated Shoulder or Dislocated Clavicle issues.

The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a 9INE POINT Number. Once you are shown the best local options, how do you know which is the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that.

Skill Sets to Look for In Sports Medicine Providers

Skill sets are the things healthcare providers learn after they graduate. A healthcare provider can take courses and get certifications for different skill sets. These skill sets are valuable and help them approach injuries from different perspectives so that you can get the best help at the right time for any Separated Shoulder or Dislocated Clavicle issues.

KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.


9INE POINT Health was created by 9INE POINT in '19 as a means to provide athlete-driven resources to "Protect Athletes' Minds, Body and Belly". As well as be a platform for healthcare providers and other specialists to display their knowledge.


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