How is a Dislocated Shoulder Diagnosed?
Our Orthopedic doctors will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. We will then examine your shoulder, checking for pain, swelling, bruising, and deformation.
If your shoulder is still dislocated, we will move it back into place, and this is called closed reduction. Once your shoulder is back in place, you will probably need an x-ray to check for fractures or other damage.
We may also order an MRI or CT scan to look for more subtle injuries to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons around the shoulder joint.
If you think you have a dislocated shoulder, it’s essential to see us right away. A dislocated shoulder is a serious injury that can cause long-term damage if it’s not treated properly. If you try to “pop” your shoulder back into place, you could worsen the injury.
The treatment for a dislocated shoulder depends on the severity of the injury and whether there are any associated fractures or other damage.
Most people will require pain medication and rest until the pain and swelling have subsided. Physical rehabilitation therapy may be recommended to help stretch and strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the shoulder joint.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged ligaments or tendons. Surgery is also sometimes needed to reposition the bones of the shoulder joint to fit together more snugly.
If not treated properly, a dislocated shoulder can lead to long-term instability of the joint. This can make it more likely to pop out of place again in the future and cause chronic pain and weakness. Repeated dislocations can damage the cartilage of the shoulder joint, leading to early-onset arthritis.