The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of dislocated shoulder. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is dislocated shoulder?
At the top of your shoulder blade, where it meets the end of your collarbone, is the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. A dislocated shoulder involves a stretch or tear of one or more of the ligaments of this joint.
What causes dislocated shoulder?
A dislocated shoulder can be caused by blunt trauma or a fall (which often occur while playing contact sports, or as a result of an automobile, bicycle or other accident). Occasionally, a shoulder may be injured as a result of lifting heavy objects or straining suddenly.
What are the symptoms of dislocated shoulder?
Common symptoms of dislocated shoulder include:
- Shoulder pain
- A new or odd lump at the top of the shoulder
- The sensation that something is sticking up on or from the shoulder
- Weakness in the shoulder or arm
- Bruising or swelling
- Sudden, sharp pain when moving the arm
If there is tenderness or pain near the end of your collarbone, or if lifting both arms lessens the pain, seek medical attention immediately. Apply ice to the injury in order to reduce pain and swelling until you can receive medical attention.
How is dislocated shoulder diagnosed?
Your Hurley physician will conduct a complete physical exam of your shoulder, and may order x-rays or an MRI in order to determine the severity and precise location of the injury.
How is dislocated shoulder treated?
It is important to rest the shoulder after an injury. You may need to use a sling to immobilize your arm and the shoulder joint. In the first hours and days after the injury, you should apply ice for twenty minute every 2-3 hours (with a cloth between your skin and the ice pack to avoid damaging the skin). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) may be used for pain relief.
Your physician may also recommend physical therapy and gentle stretching exercises for a period of time in order to rebuild strength and stability in the shoulder. To avoid or minimize permanent damage, do not resume full activity until the arm can be moved freely and your physician has given you permission to return to normal activities.
Surgery may be necessary to stabilize the injured joint and repair the stretched ligaments if the separation is severe and doesn't respond to more conservative treatments.