Dislocated Shoulder

What is a Dislocated Shoulder?

A dislocated shoulder is an injury where your upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket that is part of your shoulder blade.

Most people regain full shoulder function and mobility in the first few weeks. However, your joint may become unstable and be prone to getting a dislocated shoulder again once you have had one.

Dislocated Shoulder

What is a Dislocated Shoulder?

A dislocated shoulder is an injury where your upper arm bone pops out of the cup-shaped socket that is part of your shoulder blade.

Most people regain full shoulder function and mobility in the first few weeks. However, your joint may become unstable and be prone to getting a dislocated shoulder again once you have had one.

Causes and Symptoms of a Dislocated Shoulder

Sports
A dislocated shoulder is a common injury in sports, especially those involving contact such as hockey and basketball. In addition, athletes who partake in high-risk sports such as downhill mountain biking and skiing are susceptible to this injury.

Accident or falls
A dislocated shoulder may also happen during a fall (i.e from a ladder, sliding on slippery surface), or if you have suffered a hard blow to your shoulder during a traffic accident.

Symptoms

After the initial shoulder dislocation, you may feel these symptoms:

  • Shoulder feels like it is coming out/ loose with overhead activities (e.g. playing badminton, volleyball, holding on to handrails in the MRT)
  • Pain at the front of the shoulder

How is it diagnosed?

Physical examination
A dislocated shoulder can usually be diagnosed from signs and symptoms alone.

Imaging tests
An MRI scan or X-ray may be performed to look for fractures and ligament/tendon tears. 

We provide consultation for shoulder arthritis cases

How is it diagnosed?

Physical examination
A dislocated shoulder can usually be diagnosed from signs and symptoms alone.

Imaging tests
An MRI scan or X-ray may be performed to look for fractures and ligament/tendon tears. 

We provide consultation for shoulder arthritis cases

Treatment Options

In some patients, physiotherapy may adequately stabilise the shoulder. However, in more severe cases, surgery may be required.

Keep in mind that if your condition requires surgery, your Orthopaedic Surgeon should always educate you on:

  • Risks of the surgery
  • How to prepare for a surgery
  • What will be required for post-op care

Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy will be performed initially to help stabilise the shoulder after acute or repeated dislocations without the need for surgery.

Arthroscopy/ Key-hole surgery
A small incision will be made in your shoulder to trim your torn labrum, followed by repairing and re-attaching it.
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Disclaimer

Shoulder | Elbow Orthopaedic Group does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians that are referenced in this article. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her Orthopaedic Surgeon.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

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