Shoulder dislocation is a common injury that can be very painful and limiting. This type of injury is common in sports as well as resulting from a fall or other trauma to the joint. Because the shoulder is the body’s most mobile joint, it is also at risk to dislocate easily, especially as a repeat injury.
There are two different types of shoulder dislocation. A partial dislocation, also known as a subluxation, results when the top of the humerus bone is partly out of the socket. A complete dislocation results when this bone comes completely out of the socket.
As previously stated, the mobility of the shoulder joint allows for a dislocation to happen in more than one manner. The shoulder can dislocate downward, backward or forward.
How do you know if your shoulder pain is due to a shoulder dislocation? And further, how do you know if it is a partial or full dislocation? Check this list of symptoms to see if a trip to an orthopedic surgeon is warranted.
- Pain in and around the shoulder joint.
- Swelling around the shoulder area.
- Stiffness in the shoulder joint.
- Weakness in the shoulder joint.
- Numbness in the shoulder.
- Bruising on the skin in the shoulder region.
- Instability of the shoulder.
You do not need to identify all of the above symptoms in order to confirm a dislocated shoulder. If you notice any combination of symptoms, it is best to have your shoulder evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon, especially one trained in sports medicine. An orthopedic surgeon will likely take an x-ray as well as inquire about how the injury occurred.
Whether your shoulder dislocation is a first time occurrence or a repeat injury, it is important to have it treated immediately. A surgeon is able to put the joint back into place and provide immediate relief quickly. Following this process, known as a closed reduction, you will likely be referred for physical therapy to help in strengthening the joint to prevent another incidence of injury down the line.