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What Is A Shoulder Dislocation?

The Dislocated Shoulder - A Common Injury

Today let's take a look at an injury known as a dislocated shoulder, which is particularly common among athletes. In fact, the dislocated shoulder is one of the most common shoulder injuries we see in younger athletes.

A dislocated shoulder can happen when your shoulder is yanked or pulled violently in an extreme direction. Forward, backward or downward. Think of a running back, quarterback, or wide receiver getting yanked to the ground violently by a tackler, by the shoulder. This is a prime example of how a dislocated shoulder may occur.

However, you don't have to be playing a contact or high-impact sport to suffer a dislocated shoulder. A ‘forward slip’ is common and can happen during a fall or a sports injury. Falling off of your bike or even placing undo strain upon your shoulder can cause a shoulder dislocation.

How Will You Know if You Have a Dislocated Shoulder?

After suffering a dislocated shoulder, you'll know something is wrong immediately. The dislocation will cause your shoulder to look "out of place." And, unfortunately, you’ll feel intense pain.

The following are symptoms of a dislocated shoulder:

  • Bruising

  • Swelling

  • Numbness

  • A feeling of weakness in the shoulder

How Do We Treat A Dislocated Shoulder?

An orthopaedic surgeon typically treats Traumatic Shoulder Dislocations by prescribing pain medication and using traction to put your shoulder back in place.

You’ll be in a sling to protect your shoulder while it heals. Your physician will also recommend exercises to reduce the chances of dislocating the shoulder again.

What It Your Dislocated Shoulder Continues to Be Unstable?

Particularly in young athletes, the dislocated shoulder can become a recurring problem. If the exercise program doesn’t work and your shoulder continues to be unstable, you may need surgery to have the stretched ligaments tightened and/or repaired which can stabilize the shoulder.


For more about Dr. Erik Dorf visit or visit his profile page.


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