Shoulder Dislocation

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball of your upper arm bone fits into a socket in your shoulder blade. If the ball slips out, your shoulder has dislocated. Shoulder dislocation may be full or partial.

What You Need To Know About a Dislocated Shoulder

What is a Dislocated Shoulder?

Your shoulder joint is made up of the collarbone, shoulder blade, and upper arm bone. Your shoulders are the most movable joints in the human body. The top of your upper arm bone is ball-shaped. This ball fits into a cuplike socket in your shoulder blade.

The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint in the body. A dislocated shoulder occurs when traumatic force moves the ball out of the socket. Depending on whether the ball has moved partially or completely out of the socket, the dislocation may be partial or full. Having a shoulder out of socket can cause considerable discomfort and instability at the shoulder joint.

Finding dislocated shoulder treatment requires a visit to Resurgens Orthopaedics. Get back in the game by scheduling an appointment near you.

Causes of a Dislocated Shoulder

A dislocated shoulder occurs when the ball of the upper arm bone is forced partially or entirely out of the socket at the shoulder joint. There is no single cause of a dislocated shoulder.

There are many common causes of a dislocated shoulder, including;

  • Sports injuries, especially from contact sports and those that may involve falls.

  • Car accidents.

  • Falling on your shoulder or outstretched arm.

  • Forceful twisting of the upper arm.

  • Seizures and electric shocks, which can cause muscle contractions that pull the arm out of place.

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms

Whether you are experiencing an anterior shoulder dislocation or a posterior shoulder dislocation, the most common symptom is pain. You may not be able to move your arm. Your dislocated shoulder may swell or bruise, and you may see a bump under your skin where the ball has shifted.

Dislocated shoulder symptoms may also include;

  • Swelling or bruising

  • Weakness, or the inability to move the joint

  • Numbness

  • Muscle spasms

How is a Dislocated Shoulder Diagnosed?

Finding dislocated shoulder treatment requires a visit to a medical professional. At Resurgens Orthopaedics, a physician will diagnose your dislocated shoulder based on your symptoms, complete medical history, and the results of diagnostic imaging tests, such as x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.

Diagnostic tools enable your physician to determine the extent of your injury and view any damage to the soft tissue or bone that affects the shoulder joint. Your physician will use this data to develop a unique treatment plan for your dislocated shoulder.

Dislocated Shoulder Treatment Options

The first step in treating a dislocated shoulder is a procedure to restore the function of the joint. During this procedure, your doctor puts the ball of the upper arm bone back into the socket. Many people experience quick pain relief after this procedure.

Following the procedure, your doctor may recommend icing to reduce pain and inflammation. Immobilization via a brace will allow the muscles and soft tissue to heal. After a shoulder dislocation, it takes less force to dislocate it again, creating a higher risk of another dislocation.

Recovery time can vary according to your age, overall health, whether the shoulder had been injured before, and the severity of the dislocation. Steps like physical therapy may be recommended to increase flexibility and restore range of motion. Your doctor may also prescribe pain relief medication. Be mindful of these medications as they can quickly become habit-forming.

Every injury is unique and requires a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. Book an appointment now to learn more about your dislocated shoulder treatment options.

Virtual After-Hours Access

Resurgens Orthopaedics has partnered with the HURT! app to offer FREE virtual after-hours access to orthopedic specialists right when you need it.

Receive immediate guidance on your injury!