What Can Be Done About a Shoulder Dislocation?

What Can Be Done About a Shoulder Dislocation?


The shoulder is the body’s most mobile joint, which makes it vulnerable to dislocation. You can twist, swing and move your upper arm in any direction, but it is inherently unstable and prone to slipping out of it’s shoulder sockets. A dislocated shoulder is a deformity in which your upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket which is a part of your shoulder blade.

The tissue and nerves around your shoulder joint get damaged in severe cases of dislocated shoulder. You could end up with chronic instability and weakness, if you keep dislocating your shoulder and neglect taking any precautions. Many people confuse shoulder dislocation with separated shoulder, which is false.

  • Symptoms:

You may feel intense pain as soon as the shoulder is dislocated. You would be able to notice a visibly deformed or out-of-place shoulder. You may be unable to move your deformed shoulder because it is very painful. Swelling or bruising may occur around your shoulder joint. You may also experience numbness, weakness or tingling near the injury, such as in your neck and down your arm.

  • Causes:

To shove a bone out of its sockets, it takes a strong force, such as a sudden blow to your shoulder. Because the shoulder can move in several directions, your shoulder can dislocate forward, backward or downward, completely or partially. Although, most dislocations occur through the front of the shoulder.

Extreme and rigorous rotation of your shoulder joint can pop the ball of your upper arm bone and out of your shoulder socket. Partial dislocation is, when your upper arm bone is partially in and partially out of your shoulder socket.

Shoulder injuries are common among sports players, such as football and hockey players. There are even chances that you may dislocate your shoulder if you fall directly on your shoulder.

  • Treatments:

Closed reduction is procedure in which the doctor tries some gentle maneuvers to help fix your shoulder bone back into its proper position. If you feel a lot of pain, he may give muscle relaxants or sedatives or a general anesthetic before manipulation of your shoulder bones.

You may need a surgery if you have a weak shoulder joint or ligaments and tend to have frequent shoulder dislocations. You may be advised to use a special splint or sling for a few days to three weeks depending on the severity of your shoulder dislocation. A splint will help to keep your shoulder from moving.

Once your injury heals and you can freely move your arm and shoulder, you will have to continue exercising. Your physiotherapist will suggest an appropriate exercise routine which includes daily shoulder stretches along with shoulder-strengthening and stability program. He will help you prevent recurrence of shoulder dislocation if you follow his outlined exercise routine.