QUESTION: I fell off a ladder and separated my shoulder. A
doctor said it will heal by itself. It's getting better.
It looks a little different than the other shoulder in that
the AC is out of position -- kind of a bump on top.
I notice it everytime I look in the mirror, or when
I touch it.
Should I just live with the appearance, as long as
it works and heals up?
It will heal and you will always have a bump. Usually the bump reduces in size a little bit over the course of a few months. No precautions. You should be sure to keep the shoulder girdle in good health. A sports DC or a PT can assess the shoulder's function and guide you through exercises as well as work out the soft tissues that might develop adhesions. Otherwise, if your shoulder feels okay, you can just go about your business and forget about it.
'Hope this was helpful.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks. One more question. I separated my shoulder 3 weeks ago.
It's much better but still uncomfortable. Maybe even awkward.
I'm getting impatient. Is there an approximate time frame where I
can see improvement in the pain? Many months?
Will the pain ever go away?
These do, for the most part, resolve. But like anything there is the mean of the bell curve, and deviations. Some heal and feel okay in a few weeks, and some don't ever feel 100%. It depends on what other structures got sprained, how much soft tissue damage there is, if you are developing scar tissue around the shoulder separation or not, your age, physical constitution, whether you repetitively restrain it during your work day, etc. If you haven't already, find a sports chiropractor (go to www.acbsp.com) and get it worked on. Manual treatment might remove some of the barriers for healing and speed up the healing process.
'Hope this helps.