Signs of Shoulder Dislocation

by / Friday, 29 November 2019 / Published in Blog

Your shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket type of joint. The ball at the end of the humerus or the upper arm bone that rests in the shoulder socket. This arrangement makes the joint extremely flexible, and gives your arm its wide range of motion. Unfortunately, this also makes the joint vulnerable to injuries, like dislocation.

Shoulder dislocation refers to the ball being dislodged from the socket, often due to a severe fall, a blow during contact sports, or trauma from an accident.

Shoulder dislocation can be full or partial. In a full dislocation, the ball leaves the socket entirely while in a partial dislocation, a part of the ball remains in the socket.

If you’ve injured your shoulder, you should see an orthopedic specialist to have the condition diagnosed with an X-ray and a physical exam.

Signs of a Shoulder Dislocation

A shoulder dislocation and shoulder separation are different. A dislocation refers to the ball dislodging from the socket of the joint. But in a shoulder separation, the ligaments connecting the collarbone to the shoulder blade are stretched or torn.

The symptoms of both injuries are similar. Both cause pain, swelling, and restricted movement. The shoulder may also look misshapen. However, a bump on the back or front of the shoulder is indicative of a dislocation, while a bump at the top of the shoulder indicates a separation.


If you’ve suffered a shoulder dislocation, do not move the joint or lift heavy objects. Immobilize the joint to prevent any damage to the nerves, muscles, and ligaments around the shoulder.

See an orthopedic doctor immediately if you’ve hurt your shoulder and suspect it may be dislocated for diagnosis and effective treatment.