Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder Dislocation

What is dislocation of the shoulder?

Anatomy of the shoulder
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Dislocation of the shoulder means the displacement of the upper arm bone (humerus) out of the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is the most frequently dislocated major joint of the body--often caused by a significant force that separates the shoulder joint's ball (the top rounded portion of the upper arm bone, or humerus) away from the joint's socket (glenoid). The shoulder can dislocate in several ways, including the following:

In addition, a shoulder can be partially dislocated (the head of the upper arm is partially out of the shoulder socket) or completely dislocated (the head of the upper arm is completely out of the shoulder socket).

A dislocation can result in a fracture of the upper arm bone. Other complications may include the following:

What are the symptoms of a shoulder dislocation?

The following are the most common symptoms of a dislocated shoulder. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of a dislocated shoulder may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult a doctor for a diagnosis.

How is a shoulder dislocation diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for a dislocated shoulder may include an X-ray (a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film).

Treatment for a shoulder dislocation

Specific treatment for a shoulder dislocation will be determined by your doctor based on:

Treatment may include:

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