When the upper arm bone (humerus) moves out from its place, the shoulder is known to be dislocated.
It is the most frequently dislocated joint in the body where a significant force separates the rounded portion of the upper arm bone from its socket (glenoid)
Shoulder dislocation can happen in many ways. They are as follows:
- Anterior dislocation (forward or downward dislocation, the common type that results from falling off from the outstretched hand or shoulder.
- Posterior dislocation (backward dislocation) is caused by a violent twist of the upper arm or a direct blow to the front of your shoulder.
- Partial dislocation where the top of the upper arm is out of the shoulder socket partly.
- Complete dislocation where the top of the upper arm is out of the shoulder socket completely.
What symptoms do you experience?
- Pain in the upper arm and shoulder that worsens with movement
- Numbness and weakness
- Shoulder deformity
A complete health history, physical examination and tests such as X-ray help diagnose shoulder dislocation.
Treatment depends on the symptoms, general condition, age , and severity.
- Closed reduction: Some gentle maneuvers are used by your doctor to get the dislocated shoulder back to its position. Based on the pain and inflammation, muscle relaxant or a sedative is given.
- Immobilization: A special splint or sling is used for up to three weeks to restrict the shoulder movement. The duration to wear the splint depends on the nature of the dislocation.
- Medication: Painkillers or muscle relaxants are prescribed to improve healing.
- Surgery: This is required in case of a weak shoulder joint that tends to have recurrent shoulder dislocations. Surgery is also needed in case of damage to the blood vessels or nerves.
Rehabilitation: Once the splint or sling is taken off, the rehabilitation program is given to restore strength, stability, and range of motion in the shoulder joint.