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Shoulder Dislocation

more about Shoulder Dislocation

  • A shoulder dislocation is a condition in which the head of the upper arm bone (humeral head) slips out of the socket (the glenoid of the shoulder blade).  The shoulder joint is the most frequent site of dislocations.  Subluxation refers to action that causes the head of humerus to partially slip out of the socket.  The damage of shoulder muscles, ligaments or nerves often occurs with a shoulder dislocation.  Over 95% of the cases are a form of anterior dislocation (forward displacement of humeral head).  Posterior dislocation (backward displacement) often occurs at the time of a seizure or by a direct blow to the shoulder.

  • Shoulder pain
  • Restricted motion of the shoulder
  • Abnormal alignment of shoulder
  • If the nerve is injured by the dislocated bone-numbness occurs on the outside of the arm
  • Muscle weakness around the shoulder

  • Fall on the outstretched arm
  • Forceful pulling or twisting of the shoulder
  • Direct blow to the shoulder
  • Seizure or electric shock -- the humeral head is out of the shoulder socket by a forceful muscle contraction.

  • The shoulder dislocation is easily diagnosed by a patient's history of shoulder injuries and a physical examination.  A shoulder X-Ray will show the displacement of the humeral head

  • Closed reduction -- a closed reduction refers to the treatment of a dislocation or fracture by placing the bones in their normal position without surgery.  Doctors will place the head of humerus back into its normal position.  After reduction, the shoulder should be immobilized with sling for 1 to 2 weeks to heal the ligament and prevent a reoccurrence of the dislocation.  If the patient is over 40 years of age, it is enough to take a rest with a sling for a few days.
  • Physical therapy -- strengthening exercises of the shoulder muscles is helpful in preventing another dislocation.
  • If the pain persists after the reduction or the shoulder is unstable in spite of the physical therapy, surgery is recommended to stabilize the shoulder.

  • The rate of recurrence is high in young people, even those with minor traumas.  Recurrent dislocations are rare in patients under 40 years of age.

more about Shoulder Dislocation

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