Not everyone who suffers an AC joint separation injury undergoes surgery for repair. Some minor AC joint injuries may not require surgery and respond well to conservative treatment. For others, surgery may put their health at risk, negating the benefits. However, for many people with AC joint separation injuries with major damage, surgery can be the best choice. Here are seven reasons to consider AC joint surgery for major separation injuries.

1. A Grade 3 or Higher AC Joint Separation

If your AC joint separation is grade 3-5, you are a candidate for AC joint surgery. This means there is more extensive damage to your ligaments, resulting in a larger separation between the clavicle and scapula.

2. You Are an Athlete or Very Active

If you are an athlete or very active, AC joint separation can impact your performance doing a wide variety of arm motions. Severe separations may require surgery to restore complete function.

3. AC Joint Separation Can Cause Shoulder Deformity

While not a primary concern, AC joint separation can cause a noticeable deformity of the shoulder. The clavicle may protrude and look unnatural if not surgically repaired.

4. You Have a Physical Occupation

Do you have a job that requires lifting or physical performance? You may want to consider AC joint surgery to ensure you can still perform your job at the highest level.

5. It Has Been Less Than 6 Weeks Since Your Injury

If your AC joint injury occurred less than six weeks ago, surgery can still be performed with a higher level of success. While AC joint surgery can be performed later, the best results occur when the surgery is performed immediately after the injury.

6. Possible Complications

When the shoulder is misaligned due to an AC joint separation, excessive wear can occur on other muscles, tendons and components. AC joint surgery can realign the shoulder and avoid possible complications down the road.

7. Restore Full Function and Form

Severe AC joint separations without surgery will suffer in form and function. The best option for restoring full function and form is AC joint surgery directly after the injury occurs.

Dr. Steven Struhl is a leading expert on AC joint separation injuries and surgery, offering a patented, breakthrough technique for repairing AC joint separation. Contact our clinic in NYC or Westchester, NY, for an examination and consultation if you have suffered an AC joint injury to determine if surgery is right for you.