(Dislocated Shoulder; Glenohumeral Dislocation)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A shoulder dislocation is when the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) moves out of the shoulder socket. There are two types:
Causes may be:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
The main problem is severe pain in the shoulder. Other problems may be:
The doctor will ask about symptoms, past health, and how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. Images of the shoulder may be taken with:
It may take 12 to 16 weeks to fully heal. The goals of treatment are to put the shoulder back into place and to manage symptoms.
The doctor will move the head of the humerus back into the shoulder socket. Medicine will be given to decrease pain. Recovery treatment may include:
Surgery is rarely needed when this problem happens the first time. It may be needed in a person whose shoulder repeatedly dislocates.
This injury is due to an accident. These are hard to prevent.
Ortho Info— American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Dislocated shoulder. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/dislocated-shoulder. Accessed February 17, 2021.
Patel DN, Zuckerman JD, et al. Luxatio erecta: case series with review of diagnostic and management principles. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2011 Nov;40(11):566-570.
Shoulder dislocation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/shoulder-dislocation. Accessed February 17, 2021.
Last reviewed February 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 2/17/2021
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