Shoulder Dislocation

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This is when the top of the arm bone (humerus) comes out of the socket and stays out. It occurs when forces acting on the shoulder joint are too great for the supporting musculature and ligaments, so the shoulder comes out of its socket. This can happen via a direct blow to the shoulder pushing it out, or alternatively following a fall onto an outstretched hand where the forces from the fall are transmitted up the arm to the shoulder forcing it out.

Signs and Symptoms include:

  • Initial extreme pain as the shoulder pops out.
  • Pain travelling down the arm.
  • Arm sitting lower in the shoulder socket when compared to the other side.
  • Numbness and weakness in the shoulder.
  • Decreased movement and increased pain with movement of the shoulder.

Under no circumstances should you or anyone except a trained medical professional attempt to relocate or put the shoulder back in. if done incorrectly, it has the potential to cause permanent nerve/artery damage and severely slow the healing process.

Sometimes the shoulder may subluxate, meaning that it dislocates and then quickly relocates back to its original position. This is still a serious injury and needs to be attended to immediately.