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What is a dislocated shoulder?

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. Shoulder dislocation is the sliding of the upper arm bone (the ball portion) out of the glenoid (the socket portion) of the shoulder.

The dislocation might be a partial dislocation(subluxation) or a complete dislocation causing pain and shoulder joint instability. Shoulder joint often dislocates in the forward direction (anterior instability) and it may also dislocate in the backward or downward direction.

What are the causes of dislocated shoulder?

Excessive overhead sports and repeated use of the shoulder at the workplace may lead to a dislocated shoulder.

What are the symptoms of shoulder dislocation?

Most common symptoms of shoulder dislocation are pain and shoulder joint instability. Other symptoms such as swelling, numbness and bruising may occur. At times, it may cause a tear in the ligaments or tendons of the shoulder and nerve damage.

Diagnosis of shoulder dislocation

Your doctor will examine your shoulder and may order an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of shoulder dislocation

The condition is treated by a process called closed reduction which involves placing the ball of the upper arm back into the socket. Following this, the shoulder will be immobilized using a sling for several weeks. Ice may be applied over the area for 3-4 times a day. Rehabilitation exercises may be started to restore range of motion, once the pain and swelling decrease.

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