Dislocated Shoulder: Get the Facts on Treatment
The shoulder is a mobile joint that is capable of moving and twisting in many directions. Unfortunately its mobility causes instability – increasing its chances of slipping or popping out of place. When the upper arm bone (shoulder) slips or pops out of its cup-shaped socket, it’s called a dislocated shoulder.
You might get a dislocated shoulder by falling on it, being hit in the shoulder, or by trying to break a fall with your hand. If you suspect you have a dislocated shoulder and it doesn’t pop back into place on its own, it is important to consult an orthopaedic specialist who is trained in diagnosing and treating dislocated shoulders.
How to Treat a Dislocated Shoulder
Treatment for a dislocated shoulder depends on the severity of the injury. In most cases a method called closed reduction is used to get the shoulder bone back in place. This treatment method involves performing a series of arm and shoulder maneuvers until the bones are properly aligned. Any pain associated with the injury should improve once the shoulder is back in place. Occasionally, when a patient requires conscious IV anesthesia we recommend they to go to the hospital for the reduction.
Some shoulder dislocations require surgery if it is a recurring condition and there are weak ligaments. Any damage to nerves or blood vessels as a result of a dislocation may require surgery as well. Generally the shoulder needs to be immobilized in a sling for a few days or even a few weeks following a dislocation. During this time ice and rest are recommended.
As your shoulder heals you may be prescribed medication to help alleviate pain. As part of the healing process rehabilitation should be incorporated in an effort to restore range of motion and overall strength in the shoulder joint.
Most patients regain full shoulder function a few weeks after the injury occurred. Those who have suffered a dislocated shoulder are at an increased risk for dislocating it a second time. If you think you have a dislocated shoulder you may request an appointment or contact us at 904-825-0540 to schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist.
SINA KASRAEIAN, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has extensive training in arthroscopy and sports medicine reconstructive procedures.