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What is the difference between a separated and dislocated shoulder?

A separated shoulder and a dislocated shoulder involve two separate joints in the shoulder. The humerus (upper arm) attaches to the glenoid (the socket). A shoulder dislocation occurs when the humerus separates from the glenoid. The clavicle meets the acromion, a bony projection of the shoulder blade, at the acromioclavicular joint. A shoulder separation is when there is disruption of the acromioclavicular joint. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.