A dislocated shoulder refers to a condition in which the ball of the shoulder joint is forced out of its socket. This is painful condition that results due to an injury to the shoulder and often affects athletes. A dislocated shoulder can severely impact your quality of life for several weeks.
Shoulder dislocations may be complete (the head of the upper arm bone is forced fully out of the shoulder socket) or partial (the ball does not fully leave the socket).
Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include severe pain, numbness, heaviness and instability in the shoulder. The shoulder joint may appear oddly shaped and you will experience a restricted range of motion. A partially dislocated shoulder may slip back into place.
Causes of Shoulder Dislocation
The shoulder joint is as vulnerable to injury as it is flexible. It may get dislocated due to –
- trauma, as in a hard fall or car accident
- contact sports injury
- being rotated too far
- wear and tear on the cartilage can cause instability and hence, dislocation
- past dislocations increase your likelihood of future dislocations
- overhead motions with a chronically unstable shoulder
- electric shocks
Shoulder Dislocation Treatment
Dislocated shoulders need immediate attention. Your orthopedic surgeon can order imaging tests to examine the joint and create a treatment program.
Your doctor would make you rest the arm in a sling and avoid overhead movements or lifts. S/he may also suggest anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen, and may prescribe a muscle relaxant.
Your treatment plan will generally include physical therapy to ensure flexibility, restore range of motion, and avoid a stiff shoulder. Arthroscopic surgery may be advised if you’ve a severe dislocation. to fully recover from surgery, during which time it’s important not to overstress the limb.
If you’ve experienced a dislocated shoulder, consult an orthopedic surgeon right away. The doctors and surgeons at New York Bone & Joint can help you get started on a proactive treatment program and ensure that you’re doing all you can to prevent future injury.