What is a Shoulder Dislocation?
The shoulder is made up of a ball and socket joint – the ball-shaped head of the upper arm bone (humerus) articulates with the socket or glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade (scapula). The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in the body but is more prone to dislocation. Repeated overhead sports and workplace activities may lead to sliding of the humerus out of the glenoid causing a dislocation.
The dislocation might be a partial dislocation (subluxation) or a complete dislocation causing pain and shoulder joint instability. Shoulder joint often dislocates in the forward direction (anterior instability) and it may also dislocate in the backward or downward direction.
Symptoms of Shoulder Dislocation
Most common symptoms of shoulder dislocation are pain and shoulder joint instability. Other symptoms such as swelling, numbness and bruising may occur. At times, it may cause tear in the ligaments or tendons of the shoulder and nerve damage.
Diagnosis of Shoulder Dislocation
Your Doctor will examine your shoulder and may order an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatments for Shoulder Dislocation
The condition is treated by a process called closed reduction which involves placing the ball of the upper arm back into the socket. Following
this, the shoulder will be immobilized using a sling for several weeks. Ice may be applied over the area for 3-4 times a day. Rehabilitation exercises may be started to restore range of motion, once the pain and swelling decrease.