AC Joint Subluxation Radiology

If you’re one of the many local people who enjoy sport in your free time, you’re probably already aware of the many potential injuries you might pick up along the way. Most of these are fairly minor and are no cause for concern, but there are some parts of the body that are naturally more vulnerable to more serious injury due to the presence of important but fragile joints.

Here at Melbourne Radiology Clinic, we provide an acromioclavicular joint subluxation radiology service for patients who might be suffering from such an injury. But what exactly is acromioclavicular joint subluxation?

The acromioclavicular joint, also known as the AC joint, is a joint in the shoulder that sits between the clavicle and the acromion. While participating in sport, it is not uncommon for knocks or falls to result in disruptions to important joints. These disruptions may take the form of dislocations or near dislocations, which are known as subluxations.

AC joint subluxation is a common sporting injury which, as the name suggests, involves the subluxation or partial separation of the clavicle from the joint which connects it to the acromion, usually as the result of a direct knock or fall. Fortunately, most of these injuries will not require surgery and can be treated very swiftly and effectively. Read More

How is the Injury Diagnosed and Treated?

Patients suffering with this condition generally suffer with a swollen and/or tender AC joint with limited shoulder range of motion. Radiography can be used to help diagnose the condition, with scans being performed in order to produce sophisticated imagery showing the clavicle to be out of joint.

Once the diagnosis of subluxation of AC joint has been obtained radiology specialists can assess the severity so that the appropriate treatment may be instituted.

The Benefits of Acromioclavicular Joint Subluxation Radiology

When it comes to diagnosing the subluxation of AC joint, radiology is performed as standard initial assessment by the use of x-rays. It is a quick and painless procedure that enables radiologists to comprehensively assess the nature of your injury.

Here at Melbourne Radiology Clinic, we can provide professional radiography/x-ray services for patients suffering from sporting injuries who require a thorough diagnosis. Situated conveniently in East Melbourne, our clinic is the inner city’s only specialist, independent radiology centre to offer all major modalities.

If you require any radiological examination and/or procedure, then contact the team at Melbourne Radiology Clinic. We accept referrals from all over Melbourne – any written referral can be used, even if it is for another radiology provider. To book, call our reception staff on (03) 9667 1667. Alternatively, email to, including your referral, if you have been provided with this, or you can use our online booking form to get in contact and we can call you back to book you an appointment.

Read Less

Case examples:

1. Shoulder dislocation

MRI evaluation following an episode of shoulder dislocation demonstrates focal absence of a specialised cartilaginous structure of the shoulder known as the labrum (circle) with a massive compression fracture of the humeral head (arrows) known as a Hill-Sach’s fracture.

MRI of a dislocated shoulder

2. Acromioclavicular joint

MRI of the AC (acromioclavicular joint) demonstrates cyst formation and bone marrow oedema of the clavicle (arrows) consistent with clavicular osteolysis.

MRI of shoulder joint

3. Use of CT Scanning in shoulder injuries

CT can be used to assess bone for fractures, focal lesions and in the post-operative patient where metallic hardware has been inserted

4. CT clavicle and scapula blade fracture

CT clavicle and scapula blade fracture with the source image showing the clavicle fracture and the 3D images showing the clavicle and the shoulder blade fracture