What You Need to Know About Dislocated Shoulders

August 18th, 2013
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Dislocated shoulders are common injuries, particular for athletes. If it happens to you, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage the surrounding ligaments, tendons, and nerves. The good news is that non-surgical treatments are effective for dislocated shoulders and that most people make complete recoveries. Here are the facts about dislocated shoulders.  

Symptoms

Pain is usually the first symptom of a dislocated shoulder. Your shoulder may also feel unsteady and weak. Swelling, numbness, and bruising are also possible. In some cases, the symptoms may seem minor, but it’s crucial to see your doctor right away if you suspect you may have dislocated your shoulder. If left untreated, permanent damage to your shoulder could occur.

Diagnosis

Orthopedists diagnose dislocated shoulder through physical exams and X-rays. During the exam, your doctor may manipulate your shoulder to see if it causes pain. An X-ray can definitively show if you have a dislocation. The X-ray will also help your doctor decide if you have dislocated your shoulder forward, downwards, or backwards. Up to 80 percent of shoulder dislocations are forward, or anterior, dislocations. These injuries often occur during throwing.

Treatment

The first step in treatment is closed reduction. This is when the ball of the shoulder is put back into the socket by an orthopedist. Pain medication can be used during the procedure, and the pain of the dislocation itself usually stops as soon as the process is over. For the next few weeks, you will need a sling. Your doctor may recommend ice for pain management. Once the swelling in your shoulder is resolved, you will need physical therapy to help re-strengthen the rotator cuff to regain motion and help prevent future dislocations.

At Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.A., we treat sport injuries, back pain, and much more, all without the need for invasive procedures. If you’ve suffered an injury or have been living with chronic pain, schedule a consultation today by calling 770-421-1420. Be sure to ask about our holistic injections for pain management.

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