It was reported today that actor Ryan Reynolds was injured on the set of ” Green Lantern.” The 33 year old Canadian born actor, known for recent roles in “The Proposal, ” and “Definitely, Maybe” separated his shoulder while doing stunts on the set. He is reportedly using ice packs for the pain. The extent of his injury is unknown, as is how the injury will affect further shooting of the film.
The shoulder is a complex of four separate joints (see diagram), together called the shoulder girdle, which gives it its amazing ability to move in so many directions. However, this freedom of movement also makes it more prone to injury. Shoulder separation occurs when the fibrous tissue (ligaments) that hold the collarbone (clavicle) to the shoulder blade (scapula) are torn, most commonly by a direct hit to the shoulder or by falling on an outstretched arm . Small tears are usually treated conservatively with immobilization and pain relief. Larger or complete tears may need to be surgically repaired.
Shoulder separation is often confused with shoulder dislocation, but these are two very different injuries!
A shoulder separation occurs when there is an injury to the joint between the scapula and clavicle–this is called an acromioclavicular (or A-C) separation. A shoulder dislocation occurs when there is an injury to the joint between the humerus and scapula.
For more information, click here to see the Resounding Health casebook on shoulder separation.