Treatment for Shoulder Dislocations & Labral Tears in Kirkland, WA
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, leaving it at risk for instability or dislocation. The shoulder can also be unstable without completely dislocating. This can cause discomfort, especially with certain activities. The younger a patient is the first time a dislocation occurs, the more likely they are to have recurrent dislocations.
When shoulder instability requires surgery, it can usually be done arthroscopically with good results. Open surgical techniques may also be used, especially if someone has dislocated their shoulder after a previous surgery. Surgical stabilization of the shoulder can prevent recurrent instability as well as further joint damage from these episodes.
What is a Dislocated Shoulder?
A dislocated shoulder occurs when a forceful event causes the bone in the upper part of the arm to push out of its socket. This cup-shaped socket houses the shoulder joint and is part of the shoulder blade. The shoulder joint is very susceptible to shifting out of place because of its free range of motion.
Symptoms of a Dislocated Shoulder
Like most sports injuries, a dislocated shoulder will worsen if it is left untreated or not treated correctly. This can be very painful and the deformed bone can rub against the nerves in your shoulder.
Other conditions that may arise if a dislocated shoulder is left untreated include:
- Chronic shoulder pain
- Visible deformity of the affected shoulder
- An inability to rotate or otherwise move your shoulder
While these are the main symptoms of a dislocated shoulder, you may also experience numbing or tingling sensations. These tend to start near the affected shoulder and may run down along the nerves of your legs and spine.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms, there may be more damage than you originally thought.
What to do if you Dislocate your Shoulder
- Don’t move the shoulder joint
- Carefully place your arm in a sling or other device to keep the arm stable
- Place a bag of ice over the injured shoulder to reduce the pain and swelling
- DO NOT try to push your shoulder back into place by yourself
Causes of a Dislocated Shoulder
Due to the shoulder’s ability to have a free range of motion, the shoulder joint is very susceptible to a variety of injuries. These injuries usually occur when the joint is hit with a force strong enough to pop the joint out of its socket.
Other reasons why your shoulder joint may pop out of your socket include:
- Contact sports injuries
- Trauma not sports related such as falling down
Treatment for a Dislocated Shoulder
When someone sustains a dislocated shoulder, you should stabilize the shoulder joint in a sling as quickly as possible. Once the shoulder has been stabilized, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments, depending on the severity of the dislocation.
- Shoulder immobilization
- Rehabilitation- This can be a lengthy process and involves weeks of physical therapy and exercises that work to regain back the muscles strength through repeated weight lifting and daily movement of the joints.
- Closed reduction – For this treatment, your provider may use several bone adjustment techniques to place your shoulder back in it’s socket. Most patient’s experience an immediate decrease in shoulder pain after this treatment is performed.
Most people find that they regain back their normal strength in their affected shoulder two weeks after the dislocation. However, once you sustain this injury once, you’re more likely to sustain the injury again.
Schedule An Appointment
The specific treatment method utilized will largely depend on the type and severity of your individual injury. It is important to consult with an orthopedic specialist to discuss your treatment options. As a fellowship-trained board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Camille Clinton delivers state-of-the-art treatment for shoulder dislocations. Call (425) 899-4810 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Clinton today!