The shoulder is an amazingly mobile joint, allowing the arm to rotate over a range of degrees and directions. But this mobility also carries risk: The shoulder is the reason for half of all visits to the emergency room for joint dislocations. In most cases of dislocated shoulders, the humerus bone moves anteriorly (towards the front of the body) as opposed to posteriorly (towards the rear). The result can be nerve damage.
A dislocated shoulder should be treated as soon as possible, first by having the bone replaced in its socket. This will ease the pain. It’s important that the patient not try to reposition the dislocated joint without medical intervention. Self-treatment can result in further injury.
The symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include pain that increases when the patient attempts to move the shoulder or upper arm; a visible deformation such as a bump in the front or back of the joint; intense pain when the injury occurs and lingering tenderness around the shoulder and collarbone; possible bruising or swelling.
The diagnosis can distinguish between a dislocated shoulder joint and a so-called separated shoulder, a term that is used to describe a tear in the ligament connecting the collarbone to the shoulder blade.
In severe cases, a dislocated shoulder includes damage to tissues and nerves around the joint. When the shoulder bone is reset to its correct position, the patient will feel immediate relief but some pain will continue until the joint heals.
Treatment for a Dislocated Shoulder
When a patient appears in the clinic complaining of shoulder pain, the doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about the incident. Doctor may also order imaging tests such as x-rays, MRI or ultrasound. It’s necessary to determine the cause of the pain before a treatment plan can be designed.
Treatment may begin with conservative therapy, including resting the joint, applying ice to reduce pain and swelling, the use of a sling to immobilize the joint, pain medication and, eventually, physical therapy.
Patients whose symptoms don’t improve with conservative treatment may be candidates for shoulder surgery. In some cases, surgery is required to re-position the bones. Habitual dislocations may also need to be stabilized surgically.
To avoid future episodes, patients should stop any activity that causes shoulder pain. The medical staff can advise patients on stretching exercises to perform before a work-out, to help prevent injury. A dislocated shoulder needs time to heal, and the process cannot be rushed. While patients may be eager to return to a favorite sport or activity, it might be better to replace shoulder-stressing movements with other exercises that don’t strain the joint. Dislocated shoulders can take months to heal; only the doctor can say when a shoulder is ready for action again.
Common Questions about Dislocated Shoulder Treatment
What is a shoulder dislocation?
Shoulder dislocation is a common sports injury. This happens when the upper part of the humerus (or the arm) bone pops out of the shoulder socket.
Shoulder dislocation may be caused by trauma, such as falling on the arm or lifting a heavy object, or atraumatic stress, such as repetitive pressure that gradually loosens the shoulder joint and causes instability.
We provide elite orthopedic care and sports medicine here at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida. We can help you with dislocated shoulder treatment.
What is the fastest way to heal a dislocated shoulder?
Since the injured soft tissues and ligaments are about to begin to heal and strengthen, it is essential to protect the shoulder in the first 2-3 weeks.
To give the joints the strength and stability they need to function properly, we focus on strengthening the surrounding musculature, including the rotator cuff muscles. Following these treatment options will help you maintain shoulder mobility and reduce pain after a shoulder dislocation.
In Florida, All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine can help you if you are suffering from chronic pain and swelling caused by shoulder dislocation injuries despite using simple treatments. In addition to treating any discomfort caused by shoulder dislocation, we can also provide treatment to prevent future injuries.
What are the symptoms of a dislocated shoulder?
Symptoms associated with a dislocated shoulder may vary; regardless, you should seek immediate help and dislocated shoulder treatment:
- Intense shoulder pain, especially in the joint
- Deformity or the shoulder is visibly out of place
- Inability to move the shoulder or shoulder weakness
- Numbness and tingling
Here at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida, we provide expert diagnosis and treatment for all types of shoulder injuries.
What shoulder injuries are included in Florida’s dislocated shoulder treatment?
We treat all types of shoulder injuries at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida.
Once a patient comes to our clinic with shoulder pain, we perform a thorough physical examination and evaluation of their medical history. The doctor may order imaging tests such as x-rays, MRIs, or ultrasounds for proper diagnosis. It’s necessary to determine the cause of the pain before a treatment plan can be designed.
What’s included in your dislocated shoulder treatment?
Here at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida, our doctors will work with you to develop a treatment plan best suited to your particular condition.
Dislocated shoulder treatment may involve different techniques, depending on the severity of your condition: closed reduction, immobilization, medication, rehabilitation, or surgery.
It is generally best to treat shoulder dislocations conservatively and strengthen them with guided rehabilitation if it is the first time they have happened. It may require resting the joint, applying ice to reduce swelling and pain, using a sling to immobilize the joint, taking pain medication, and eventually, undergoing physical therapy.
Otherwise, our trained doctors will provide a different dislocated shoulder treatment plan. A recurring problem may indicate that the shoulder is unstable, and surgical intervention may be needed.
What are the benefits of dislocated shoulder treatment at All-Pro Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in Florida?
All our locations in Florida have a team of doctors specializing in various orthopedic conditions and performing orthopedic procedures.
As a team of doctors, we can help you reach your physical goals and prescribe individualized treatment plans for your specific needs to get you back in the game as soon as possible.
You can trust our doctors to prescribe medications and perform surgery to help you with your dislocated shoulder and other shoulder-related injuries.