What is shoulder dislocation? Check types, symptoms and treatment

The shoulder stands as the most flexible joint of the body, facilitating arm movement, rotation and reaching above the head. In the case of shoulder problems, everyday activities such as getting dressed, brushing teeth and eating can pose challenges.

In an interview with Zee News English, Dr Ashish Acharya, Senior Consultant Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Unit, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital New Delhi shared everything about shoulder injuries and dislocations.

Shoulder dislocation occurs when the humerus (upper arm bone) becomes separated from its socket. “Shoulder dislocation can be the result of traumatic events such as car accidents, falls, sports, etc.,” says Dr. Ashish.

This phenomenon is more prevalent in physically active individuals or those who are heavily engaged in athletics.

What are the different types of shoulder dislocation?

Dr. Ashish Acharya shares symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of shoulder dislocation:

● Anterior- In this the humerus moves forward. Most dislocations usually occur in this direction.

● Posterior- In this type the humerus moves backwards. Such disorders are unusual.

● Inferior – This is the rarest type. In this type, the humerus protrudes downwards.

Signs and symptoms of shoulder dislocation

In addition to the audible “pop” sound and sensation, shoulder dislocations can be extremely painful. You may also experience the following symptoms:

1. Difficulty in moving the shoulder joint

2. Inability to move shoulder

3. distortion

4. Bruises and swelling

5. Tingling and numbness in the arm

Shoulder dislocation: diagnosis

Shoulder dislocation can be diagnosed based on physical examination alone. Still, your medical professional may recommend an X-ray. This supports diagnosis and identifies any other damage that may have occurred.

Shoulder dislocation: treatment

Treatment will depend on your age, symptoms, other health problems, previous recurrences, and how severe the condition is.

● Reduction: A procedure to push the head of your upper arm bone back into your shoulder joint, often done with an anesthetic

● Immobilization: using a sling to immobilize (restrict) shoulder movement after reduction.

● Medication: taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and pain

● Surgery: If nonsurgical measures fail to achieve stability

“To help strengthen the shoulder, your doctor may recommend rehabilitation and stretching activities once the injury is stable,” says Dr. Acharya.

If your shoulder dislocation is uncomplicated, without any nerve or tissue damage, the healing process may take a week or longer. During this entire period, you will be unable to use your arm, which may be painful and uncomfortable. However, with determination and patience, you can eventually resume your regular activities.

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