What are the symptoms of shoulder dislocation?
– Pain that is significant, acute and sudden after an injury
– A feeling that the shoulder is “slipping out of its socket” when moving your arm outward from your body (external rotation and abduction)
– A visible deformity of the shoulder
– Inability to use the injured arm effectively
– Muscle spasms and numbness or tingling of the arm
– Dislocations can be described as partial (subluxed), complete, anterior (front), posterior (back) or multi-directional.
– In some cases, the head of the humerus may fracture when it dislocates, this is called a Hill-Sachs lesion.
What is the usual treatment for shoulder dislocation?
– Usually the patient presents to the ER and emergency staff put the arm back in its socket and the patient is given intravenous medicine to help.
– x-rays are taken to confirm the shoulder is placed correctly and the shoulder is then placed in a sling.
– Additional treatment at a later date is based on the patient’s age, evidence of persistent problems with the shoulder going out of place, and the underlying associated soft-tissue injury (either to the rotator cuff or the capsulolabral complex).
– Whilst many dislocations don’t require surgery, patients who are active and younger quite often require surgery because a dislocation at this age generally means persistent instability and repeat dislocations.
– Surgery involves repair of the torn soft tissues.
– Most shoulder dislocations occur as a result of a sporting injury, and they tend to be more common in males.
– Non-surgical treatments include ice to reduce swelling, slinging in a safe position, anti-inflammatory tablets and physiotherapy.
– Try not to move the arm until the shoulder is put back in place, as this can cause damage to joints and nerves.