Apr 4

Everything You Need to Know About Your Dislocated Shoulder.

The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint formed by the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) and the cup-like socket of the shoulder blade. The socket itself is quite shallow and does not give a lot of support to the joint; therefore, it relies on other structures such as muscles and ligaments around the joint to help keep it in place. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of movement of any joint in the body. Since the socket is so shallow and the joint moves a great deal, the shoulder is highly susceptible to dislocating and is the most common dislocated joint in the body.dislocation.142722

Dislocation of the shoulder occurs when the humerus separates from the shoulder socket. The humerus will either displace forward, backward or downward in the joint and often remains displaced until it is put back into its normal position.  Dislocation most often occur a result of a direct blow to the shoulder or a fall on an outstretched arm. It can also occur as easily as forcibly throwing a ball. People will often experience pain immediately in the shoulder and may notice an “abnormal” shape to their shoulder. Initially after dislocation most individuals will have to go to the hospital to have the shoulder repositioned into the correct place. Usually the shoulder will be immobilized in a sling temporarily to help with pain and prevent another dislocation.

There are many structures surrounding the shoulder that help to stabilize the joint. These include many ligaments, muscles, joint cartilage (labrum), bony structures, and the joint capsule. When a dislocation occurs, these structures are stretched and in some cases can be completely torn. This creates a weak and “loose” shoulder joint which is now susceptible to dislocating again. Once the acute stages of injury have passed, it is important to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder to create stabilization. Early rehabilitation requires passiDislocated_shoulder_X-ray_03.142832ve and active motions to restore joint movement and light strengthening. Progressive exercises are then completed to restore shoulder strength in all ranges of motion.

In cases where strengthening the surrounding muscles is not enough to prevent further dislocation or subluation (partial dislocation), surgery may be required to stabilize the joint. A rehabilitation program will have to be completed to restore full functioning following surgery.

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