The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body – capable of moving and twisting in a lot of directions. While this mobility allows us to perform countless maneuvers, it’s also the cause for the shoulder’s instability. You often hear of athletes’ shoulders slipping or popping out of place, and when this happens the diagnosis is a dislocated shoulder.

Dislocation of the shoulder joint occurs when it pops out of its cup-shaped socket. Causes of a dislocated shoulder are numerous and may include falling on the shoulder, being hit in the shoulder, or simply trying to break a fall with your hands. The majority of dislocated shoulder injuries occur while playing sports.

If your shoulder feels out of place and you fear it may be dislocated, it is important to seek treatment right away. To make an appointment to have your shoulder evaluated and properly popped back into place, please call us at 352-556-4823.

How We Treat Dislocated Shoulders

The severity of the dislocation will determine treatment. In most cases, we use a method often referred to as closed reduction to pop the shoulder back in place. This treatment approach requires several arm and shoulder maneuvers to get the shoulder bone back in the socket and properly aligned. The pain experienced from a dislocated shoulder should be significantly reduced once the shoulder is popped back into place.

Unfortunately some patients we treat for shoulder dislocation come back to the office for the same injury. If we find it is a recurring condition, chances are high that there are weak ligaments surrounding the shoulder joint. In such cases, surgery if typically required to repair damaged ligaments. Following surgery the arm and shoulder will need to be immobilized in a sling for a few weeks.

We also recommend rest and applying ice during recovery. Pain medication may be prescribed as well to assist with any discomfort following the procedure. As part of the recovery process, patients will be encouraged to go through physical therapy to help strengthen the shoulder joint and regain range of motion.

The majority of patients we treat regain shoulder function in a few weeks. It is important to note that if you have dislocated your shoulder once before, you are at an increased risk for doing it again. For more information about treatment for a dislocated shoulder, contact us at  352-556-4823.

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