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Shoulder Dislocation Orthopedic Treatment

The shoulder has two joints that can be dislocated, the AC and glenohumeral joints. A shoulder dislocation generally refers to the glenohumeral joint, the ball-and-socket joint that connects the arm to the shoulder. The glenoid socket that holds the head of the humerus (upper arm) bone is very shallow, which can result in dislocation when exposed to excessive force. At Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery and sports injury center, we perform shoulder dislocation orthopedic treatment in our clinic in Miami, FL.

The glenohumeral joint is designed to offer an extensive range of motion, more than any other joint. The ability to pivot the arm 180 degrees comes at a price – vulnerability to dislocation. The rotator cuff, ligaments and labrum of the joint help to keep the humeral head inside the glenoid socket, but if too much force is applied, it can slip out. A partial dislocation is called subluxation, which often will resolve on its own or with minimal treatment. A complete shoulder dislocation requires medical attention, treatment and possibly surgery, depending on the extent of the injury.

Causes and Symptoms of Shoulder Dislocation

The most common causes of shoulder dislocation are falls, playing contact sports, auto/bike accidents and overhand movements. The humerus can be pushed out of the socket in a forward, downward or backward motion. When this occurs, there is intense pain and there may be a popping sound or sensation as the connective tissues allow the bone to move out of place. Other symptoms can include:

  • Bruising around the shoulder
  • Swelling around the joint
  • Visible deformity
  • Weakness in the arm
  • Limited range of motion

When a dislocation of the shoulder occurs without open or severe fractures, it can often be popped back into place with closed reduction. A medical professional can determine whether a closed reduction can be performed, followed by healing and rehabilitation of the shoulder. However, if there are torn tendons, ligaments, labral tissue or bone fractures, surgery may be needed to repair the joint before healing can begin.

If you have a shoulder dislocation in the Fort Lauderdale or Palm Beach area, come see us at Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery center. Contact our office in Miami, FL, to schedule your consultation with one of our shoulder specialists.

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