The shoulder is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body, where many muscles act to provide the widest range of motion of any part of the body. This flexibility is also what makes the shoulder prone to instability and injury.
The shoulder joint is formed where the humerus (upper arm bone) fits into the scapula (shoulder blade), like a ball and socket. The clavicle (collarbone) extends across the front of the shoulder from the sternum to the scapula and helps stabilize the shoulder’s movements.
WHAT IS A DISLOCATED SHOULDER?
The shoulder is the body’s most mobile joint, which makes it susceptible to dislocation. A dislocated shoulder is an injury in which your upper arm bone pops out of your shoulder socket. There are 2 types of a dislocated shoulder- partial dislocation and complete dislocation. A partial dislocation is where the head of the upper arm bone is partially out of the socket, while a complete dislocation means it is fully out of the socket. Both partial and complete dislocations cause pain and unsteadiness in the shoulder.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A DISLOCATED SHOULDER?
Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include:
- Deformation of the shoulder / shoulder seems out of place
- Swelling or bruising on the upper arm
- Trouble moving your arm accompanied by severe pain
- Numbness / weakness in your arm, neck, hand or fingers
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS OF A DISLOCATED SHOULDER?
You might get dislocate your shoulder when you:
- Fall onto your shoulder on a hard surface
- Experience trauma, such as a heavy blow to your shoulder during a motor vehicle collision
- Suffer from sports injuries during contact sport, such as rugby, or in a sports-related accident.
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS OF A DISLOCATED SHOULDER?
Your doctor will ask you how the dislocation happened and whether the shoulder had ever been dislocated before. He will then examine your shoulder and may order an x-ray to rule out any broken bones or other conditions, and to confirm the dislocation.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR A DISLOCATED SHOULDER?
Your doctor will pop your shoulder joint back in place through a procedure called closed reduction. During this procedure, Your doctor will place the ball of the upper arm bone back into the joint socket.
Your doctor may get you to wear a sling or other device to keep your shoulder in place for a period ranging from a few days to several weeks following treatment. Once the pain and swelling has improved, you will proceed to doing rehabilitation exercises. These help to improve the shoulder’s range of motion and strengthen the muscles. Rehabilitation may also help prevent dislocation of the shoulder again in the future.