Dislocated shoulders are extremely common, but they can be recurrent if you aren’t proactive at preventing and treating them. We explain how shoulder dislocation happens and how they’re treated.

Your shoulder is the joint in your body that has the highest likelihood of dislocation. This is due to the fact that your shoulder is highly mobile and has a ball-in-socket mechanism which actually makes it unstable.

Because shoulder dislocation is so common, our team of orthopedic surgeons at Prairie Garden Medical in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, wants you to know how shoulder dislocation can happen and what to do should it happen to you.

What happens when you dislocate your shoulder?
Your shoulder becomes dislocated when the round, upper part of your arm bone – the humerus –  comes out of your shoulder blade, or scapula. It’s common for the ligaments, tendons, and muscles that surround your shoulder to be damaged as well.

Shoulder dislocations are typically caused by a fall or blow to the shoulder which can happen most often during any kind of sports activities. Because of this, kids and young teens are particularly susceptible to this type of injury.

When you dislocate your shoulder, you can experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Intense pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Joint immobility
  • Numbness and weakness
  • Your shoulder will also be visibly out of place if it’s dislocated and could be in almost any direction: forwards, backward, and downwards.

Treatment for shoulder dislocation
If you think that you’ve dislocated your shoulder, it’s important to seek medical treatment right away. Your provider will put your shoulder back into place and then have you start the rehabilitation process.

After popping your shoulder back into place, you’ll need to wear a sling for a few weeks in order to immobilize your shoulder while it heals. Icing your shoulder 3-4 times a day will help your shoulder to heal quicker and more effectively.

When the initial recovery process is over, it’s important to attend physical therapy in order to strengthen your shoulder and restore and improve mobility.

When you dislocate your shoulder, it greatly increases your risk of dislocating it again. So it’s important to follow protocol while your shoulder heals in order to help mitigate that risk.

Next steps
If you need treatment for a dislocated shoulder or physical therapy to help strengthen your shoulder to prevent any future dislocations, our team at Prairie Garden Medical located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is ready and willing to help.

To set up an appointment with us, contact our office or use our online scheduler tool today.