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Shoulder Dislocation - Know The Causes Behind It

Dr. Prashant Parate 89% (2645 ratings)
Fellowship in Shoulder and Knee Surgeries, DNB (Orthopedics), Diploma In Orthopaedics (D. Ortho), MBBS
Orthopedist, Nagpur  •  13 years experience
Shoulder Dislocation - Know The Causes Behind It

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the bones of the upper arm snap out of your shoulder blade, generally after suffering a major injury. The joints of the shoulder are the most flexible body joints, thereby, making them more prone to dislocation. In most of the cases, a dislocated shoulder can be fixed within a few weeks’ time with the help of proper diagnosis. There is a high chance of suffering from dislocations over and over again. A dislocated shoulder, if not treated immediately, can lead to further complications such as damage to the blood vessels and nerve around the affected area or tearing of the associated muscles or ligaments.

What can cause a shoulder dislocation?

You can experience a dislocation in your shoulder joints due to the following reasons:

  1. Shoulder dislocation can occur if you play any kind of contact sports such as football or hockey and get injured while playing.
  2. You are more susceptible to a dislocated shoulder if the sports or physical activities you engage in regularly involve the risk of suffering from falls such as gymnastics or volleyball.
  3. A dislocated shoulder is a common occurrence if you have suffered a major motor vehicle accident that might have affected your shoulder.
  4. You can also suffer from a dislocated shoulder if you have survived a fall in the recent past such as tripping from a ladder or similar injuries.

Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder

You are suffering from a dislocated shoulder if you exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Abnormal enlargement of the affected area or bruising Severe pain around the shoulder area due to a recurrent muscle spasm in the shoulder joints
  2. Extreme pain while moving the joint
  3. A sense of numbness or a tingling sensation near the affected area, for example, in areas around the neck or the arm
  4. Visibly deformed shoulder joints
  5. Depending upon the intensity of the pain, the doctor might implement a general manoeuvre procedure to relocate your shoulder bones.

After the procedure is conducted, you will feel your pain significantly reducing. Your doctor can also recommend you to wear a sling around your shoulder area to regulate the movement of the shoulder joints for the first few days to about 3 weeks, depending upon the intensity of the pain.

Treatment for shoulder dislocation

The treatment for shoulder dislocation depends on the severity of the injury. The following treatments can be implemented with suggestion from the doctors:

  1. If its first episode of shoulder dislocation, usually closed reduction followed by rehabilitation is sufficient.
  2. In case when patient is younger than 20 years or in cases with bony injury, surgery is recommended.
  3. If you had recurrent instances of dislocated shoulders, your doctor might suggest a surgery.
  4. Recurrent dislocations cause more and more damage to glenoid part of scapula and humeral head.

Type of surgery required changes from simple surgery to more difficult surgery with number of dislocations. In cases of simple capsulo-labral damage, capsulolabral repair is sufficient. In cases with loss of bone from humeral head (Hillsachs Lesion), Remplissage surgery is required additionally. When glenoid bone also is deficient of bone, bony reconstruction of glenoid becomes necessary. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.

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