Separated shoulder

A separated shoulder is an injury to the ligaments that hold your collarbone to your shoulder blade. In a mild separated shoulder, the ligaments may just be stretched. In severe injuries, ligaments may be completely ruptured.

In most people, a separated shoulder doesn't usually require surgery. Instead, conservative treatment — such as rest, ice and pain relievers — is often enough to relieve the pain. Most people regain full shoulder function within a few weeks after experiencing a separated shoulder.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications

Signs and symptoms of a separated shoulder may include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Shoulder or arm weakness
  • Shoulder bruising or swelling
  • Limited shoulder movement
  • A bump at the top of your shoulder

When to see a doctor

Contact your doctor if you experience persistent tenderness or pain near the end of your collarbone.

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