You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, if your separated shoulder is severe, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in bones and joints.
Here's information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
Make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
- Key personal information, including recent accidents or participation in contact sports
- All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including the doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.
For a separated shoulder, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- How severe is my injury?
- Will I need surgery?
- How long before I regain strength in my shoulder?
- Will I be able to return to my sport after I recover?
- What can I do to protect my shoulder from future injuries?
- Do you recommend any particular exercises to strengthen my shoulder?
- Do you have brochures or printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you several questions, such as:
- How much does your shoulder hurt on a scale of 1 to 10?
- When did your shoulder pain begin?
- Do you have numbness or tingling in your arm or hand?
- Do you know what triggered your symptoms? For instance, have you fallen or participated in contact sports recently?
- Have you injured your shoulder before?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your pain?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your pain?
Nov. 22, 2016
- Koehler SM. Acromioclavicular joint injuries. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 17, 2016.
- Shoulder separation. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00033. Accessed June 17, 2016.
- Safran MR, et al. Acromioclavicular separation (separated shoulder). In: Instructions for Sports Medicine Patients. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Sauders Elsevier; 2012. http://www/clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 17, 2016.