Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hand
“The first doctor to really give me the info I needed on how to treat my shoulders, which, thankfully, are not in need of replacement. Helped me determine that the problem is probably in my spine, which some other doctors had not been able to diagnose so far. Did an excellent job and I do recommend him. JIS always treats you with professionalism and it’s the first place I would recommend to someone who needs a joint replacement.” — Adam G.
Your shoulder is composed of a ball-and-socket joint, which allows you to perform a wide range of movements. Also called the glenohumeral joint, this joint has more range of motion than any other joint in your body. If you have dislocated your shoulder, this means that your upper arm bone (humerus) has moved out of the socket (glenoid). Today, we will go into further detail regarding the causes, signs and symptoms of shoulder dislocation, along with the effective methods used for treatment and recovery.
There are several ways in which the shoulder can dislocate:
At JIS Orthopedics, we find that sports injuries are the leading cause of shoulder dislocation. This is most commonly seen in young athletes.
Additionally, there are two forms of shoulder dislocation: a partial dislocation (subluxation) and a complete dislocation- both of which result in pain and unsteadiness in the shoulder.
Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include:
During diagnosis, your healthcare provider will take a full health history and give you a physical exam. X-Rays are often a part of the diagnosis process.
Treatment for a dislocated shoulder generally varies based on your symptoms, age, and general health. During treatment, your doctor will place the ball of the upper arm bone (humerus) back into the joint socket. This process is called a closed reduction. Severe pain stops almost immediately following this step. After this, it’s important to immobilize your arm with a sling. From there, you can begin the rehabilitation process.
Typically, surgery is not needed, especially if the shoulder was dislocated for the first time. However, if these methods don’t seem to be working, surgery may be needed to repair or tighten the torn or stretched ligaments that hold the joint in place.
Recurring cases of shoulder dislocation can result in bone damage to the humerus or shoulder socket. If your surgeon identifies bone damage during the process, he or she may recommend a bone transfer type of surgery.
Once the pain and swelling in your shoulder decreases, your doctor will prescribe rehabilitation exercises for you. These exercises help restore the shoulder’s range of motion and strengthen the muscles. The process beings with gentle muscle toning exercises, with the addition of weight over time. Furthermore, rehabilitation can help prevent dislocation of the shoulder down the road.
At JIS Orthopedics, we find that most shoulder dislocations take 6-8 weeks to recover from. In milder cases, the shoulder can be back to normal within 2-4 weeks. It is important to make sure you are checking regularly with your orthopedist to ensure you are on a healthy road to recovery.
Do you think you may have a dislocated shoulder? JIS Orthopedics is here to help. Give us a call today and begin your road to recovery with us!