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Dislocated shoulder

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Dislocated shoulder- from the name of the medical condition you can tell that it’s an injury associated with your shoulder.

The anatomy of your shoulder explains that it is made up of a ball and a socket joint. The ball is precisely the arm bone with fits inside the socket or the shoulder blade. In case of a dislocated shoulder, the arm bone comes out of the socket, which is indeed painful.

A partial dislocation can also happen wherein a part of the ball comes out of the socket and the remaining remains inside. This condition is known as subluxation.


Symptoms of shoulder dislocation

You can see the deformity in your shoulder which would look out of place. Apart from that, you will experience intense pain and inability to move your shoulder. Depending upon the severity of the injury other symptoms could be swelling in your arms, bruising, and numbness or tingling around your neck. 


Causes of shoulder dislocation

  • Trauma to the shoulder like a hard blow, fall, strong thrust against an object, accidental injury, and similar circumstances.
  • Overuse of your shoulder from adventure activities like skiing, rock climbing, etc. or sports like throw ball, hockey, volleyball, etc.
  • Rotating your shoulder vigorously can also induce a dislocation

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Complication of shoulder dislocation

Your shoulder becomes vulnerable to future episodes of dislocation and injury if a dislocation has occurred at present. There could be chances of damage of ligaments and tendons as well.


When to see a doctor?

See a doctor as soon as you realize the pain, discomfort and abnormality in your shoulder. Make sure someone drives you to the hospital and do not move the shoulder forcibly.  


Diagnosis of shoulder dislocation

You have to explain your doctor about your injury i.e. how did it happen. Following that an x ray would be performed. Your doctor might also recommend a MRI and Electromyography (EMG) to check for tissue damage and for measuring electrical signals around your muscles, respectively.


Treatment for shoulder dislocation

The treatment that would be applied on you is dependent on the diagnostic reports. In most cases, the patient is asked to wear a shoulder sprint or sling to immobilize the dislocation. You doctor may manually position the dislocated bone after giving you a sedative or muscle relaxant. Along with this treatment, pain killers would be prescribed to manage the pain and inflammation.

Surgery is usually not performed unless there’s an injury to the tendons or ligaments, your shoulder bone is weak or if the dislocation is recurring. 


Self care for shoulder dislocation

After returning home you have to take care of your shoulder until you recover.

Rest - First you need to rest your shoulder to accelerate healing

Ice and heat- You can take ice compress with someone’s help. Once the pain and swelling has disappeared, take warm compress to mobilize the joint. Follow your doctor’s advice to know the technique properly.

Physiotherapy- As a part of your rehabilitation you will be showed physiotherapy exercises to overcome the weakness and regain flexibility. You need to practise them at home. 

With proper treatment and care you should get over the condition with a week or two.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: june 14, 2014

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