Shoulder Sprain Treatment in Lafayette, LA
A sprain is an injury that occurs when a ligament – a strong band of fibrous tissue that connects two bones – is overstretched or torn. A shoulder sprain affects a ligament in or around the shoulder joint (ball and socket) or the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which is located at the point where the clavicle (collarbone) meets the highest point of the shoulder blade (acromion).
Also known as a shoulder separation, an AC joint sprain often develops gradually through repetitive overhead motions, such as those involved in throwing sports and some everyday activities like hanging curtains and washing walls. A shoulder sprain can also develop suddenly through trauma, such as a car accident or a fall onto an outstretched arm.
Recognizing a Shoulder Sprain
A relatively mild shoulder sprain may cause slight tenderness and swelling in the shoulder joint or at the outside tip of the collarbone, which may worsen with shoulder or arm movement. A severe shoulder sprain can cause intense pain as well as significant swelling, which may alter the contour of the joint and inhibit movement.
Addressing the Discomfort
Depending on the severity of the damage, a shoulder sprain can take up to several months to heal. In the meantime, it is important to avoid movements and activities that cause or worsen the pain. If necessary, a sling can be worn to stabilize and protect the injury during recovery, and over-the-counter pain relievers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and ice pack applications can help reduce painful swelling. After the pain and inflammation subside, a physical therapy program can be started to improve shoulder strength, enhance joint range of motion, and facilitate a gradual return to activity.
For a severe shoulder sprain that does not improve with conservative treatment, surgery may be considered. For instance, if there is significant displacement of the clavicle with respect to the acromion, a surgical procedure may be suggested to reconstruct the damaged ligaments to realign the clavicle and the acromion.
See a Shoulder Specialist in Lafayette
If you’ve injured your shoulder, the best way to ensure proper healing and a full return to activity is to seek prompt medical attention. For effective treatment for shoulder sprains and other sports-related injuries, many athletes and other active individuals from Lafayette, Louisiana, turn to Peter D. Vizzi, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. Contact Dr. Vizzi’s office to request a consultation today.