In this injury, a fall or blow causes the top of your arm bone to pop out of the shoulder socket. Unlike a lot of joints in your body, your elbow, for instance, the shoulder is incredibly mobile. You can twist and move your upper arm in almost any direction. But there’s a price for this ease of movement. The shoulder joint is inherently unstable, prone to slipping out of place.
In severe cases of dislocated shoulder, the tissue and nerves around the shoulder joint get damaged.
You might get a dislocated shoulder by:
- Falling onto your shoulder, especially on a hard surface
- Being hit in the shoulder
- Trying to break a fall with your hand
Dislocated shoulders need to be treated right away. Your doctor will need to move the arm bone back into the shoulder socket. Since the joint will get more swollen and painful by the minute, the sooner the better. Once the arm bone is back in the socket, some of the pain will go away. After the shoulder bone is repositioned, you can use conservative treatment to reduce pain and swelling.
For a severely dislocated shoulder, surgery is sometimes needed to correctly position the bones. If you keep dislocating your shoulder, surgery to tighten the tendons surrounding the joint may help.
After the pain and swelling go down, the doctor will prescribe rehabilitation exercises for you. These help restore the shoulder’s range of motion and strengthen the muscles. Rehabilitation may also help prevent dislocating the shoulder again in the future. Rehabilitation will begin with gentle muscle toning exercises.