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Shoulder Dislocation

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.