What is a shoulder dislocation?
Displacement of the humerus (upper arm bone) from its socket in the shoulder joint. A forward displacement of the humerus is the most common type of shoulder dislocation. A temporary dislocation with immediate return to normal joint position is known as a SUBLUXATION.
What are the signs of a shoulder dislocation?
The signs of a shoulder dislocation are (1) Excruciating pain at the time of injury. (2) Loss of function of the dislocated shoulder joint and severe pain when attempting to move it. (3) Visible deformity if dislocated bones lock in the dislocated positions. If they spontaneously reposition themselves. no deformity will be visible, but the damage will be the same. (4) Severe tenderness over the dislocation.(5) Swelling and bruising at the injury site. (6) Numbness or paralysis in the arm from pressure, pinching or cutting of blood vessels or nerves.
What body parts are involved in a shoulder dislocation?
The specific body parts involved are the shoulder joint; humerus the soft tissue surrounding the dislocation, including nerves, tendons, ligaments, muscles and blood vessels. Injury to nerves in the axilla (armpit) is quite common, as is injury to the axillary nerve, which powers the deltoid muscle.
What are the main causes of shoulder dislocations?
The main cause of a shoulder dislocation is (1) Direct upward blow to the shoulder or backward force on an extended arm.(2) End result of a severe shoulder sprain. (3) Congenital abnormality, including shallow or malformed joint surfaces. (4) Powerful muscle twisting or a violent muscle contraction(including contraction from seizures or electrocution). Some people can willfully produce a recurrent dislocation.
How do you prevent a shoulder dislocation?
Warm up adequately prior to any physical activity, practice or competition. The athlete should participate in a strength and flexibility program appropriate for their sport especially a shoulder strengthening and conditioning program prior to throwing sports. For participation in contact sports, protect shoulders with shoulder pads as well as special equipment such as the Antibody Angle Shoulder brace™.
Am I at risk for a shoulder dislocation?
The risk of sustaining a shoulder dislocation increases with contact sports, especially football, wresting or basketball. The risk increases with: (1) Any activity that involves forceful throwing, lifting, hitting or twisting. (2) Shoulder fracture. (3) Previous shoulder dislocation or sprain. (4) Repeated shoulder injury of any sort. (5) Arthritis of any type (rheumatoid, gout). (6) Poor muscle conditioning.
How long does a shoulder dislocation take to heal?
After the shoulder dislocation has been corrected, it may require immobilization with a cast or sling for 2 to 8 weeks. Complete healing of injured ligaments requires a minimum of 6 weeks. If customary treatment does not prevent a recurrence, athletic activities should be modified until surgery can be done. Surgery should be followed by rehabilitation to prevent re-injury.
What is the proper care for a shoulder dislocation?
The appropriate health care for a shoulder dislocation is a doctor’s care. This will include: (1) Manipulation of the joint to reposition the bones. (2) Surgery (sometimes) to restore the joint to its normal position. Acute or recurring dislocations may require surgical reconstruction to stabilize the joint (3) Self-care during rehabilitation. After recovery, we recommend continued use of The Angle to prevent re-injury.
Are there any complications with shoulder dislocations?
Some possible complications can be (1) temporary or permanent damage to nearby nerves or major blood vessels, causing numbness, coldness and paleness.(2) Excessive internal bleeding. (3) Shock or loss of consciousness.(4) Recurrent dislocations, particularly if the previous dislocation is not healed completely. Most recurrent dislocations are anterior (forward) dislocations caused by unhealed injuries to shoulder ligaments or congenital abnormalities of the glenohumeral joint.
What treatment should I use for a shoulder dislocation?
Keep the person warm with blankets to decrease the possibility of shock. Cut away clothing if possible, but don’t move the injured area to remove clothing. Untrained persons should not attempt to reposition a dislocated shoulder. Immobilize the neck, dislocated shoulder and elbow with padded splints or a sling. Some supplemental first aids are the “R.I.C.E.” instructions: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (if possible). Doctors will manipulate the dislocated bones to return them to their normal positions. Manipulation should be done within 6 hours of the injury, if possible. After that time, internal bleeding and displacements of body fluids may lead to shock. Also, many tissues lose their elasticity and become difficult to return to their normal positions. Relocating a dislocated shoulder may require general anesthesia. It is helpful, as continuing care, to use an ice pack 3 or 4 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. Place ice chips or cubes in a plastic bag. Wrap the bag in a moist towel, and place it over the injured area. After the first 72 hours, application of localized heat promotes healing by increasing blood circulation in the injured area. Use heat lamps, hot baths, showers, heating pads or heat liniments and ointments. Take whirlpool treatments, if available. Exercise all muscle groups not immobilized in a cast or sling. Muscle contractions promote alignment and hasten healing. Massage gently and often to provide comfort and decrease swelling.
What medications, if any, are recommended?
Your doctor may prescribe: (1) General anesthesia or muscle relaxants to make joint manipulation possible. (2) Acetaminophen to relieve moderate pain. (3) Narcotic pain relievers for severe pain. (4) Antibiotics to fight infection if surgery is necessary.
What activity is proper during rehabilitation and recovery?
Resume your normal activities after treatment. As far as diet, do not eat or drink before manipulation or surgery to correct dislocation. Fluid or solid food in your stomach makes vomiting while under general anesthesia more hazardous. During recovery eat a well balance diet. You can begin daily rehabilitation exercises when supportive sling is no longer needed and with the blessing of your doctor. Use ice massage for 10 minutes before and after exercise. Fill a large Styrofoam cup with water and freeze. Tear a small amount of the foam from the top so the ice protrudes. Massage firmly over the injured area in a circle about the size of a softball.
Call your Doctor if:
Be certain to call your doctor if you have difficulty moving your shoulder after dislocation, your arm becomes numb, pale, or cold after a dislocation. This is an emergency! Call your doctor if any of the following occurs after surgery: (1) Increased pain, swelling or drainage in the surgical area.(2) Signs of infection (headaches, muscle aches, dizziness or a general ill feeling and fever ).(3) Constipation.(4) New, unexplained symptoms. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.(5) Dislocations that you can “pop” back into normal position occur repeatedly.
How does the Angle Shoulder Brace™ prevent shoulder dislocations?
The Angle Shoulder brace™ can prevent shoulder dislocations by providing muscle compression, joint stabilization and support, muscle heat circulation to increase blood flow and promote healing, strain distribution and impact absorption. The inner surface of the Angle Shoulder brace™ attaches to the surface of the shoulder, bicep , chest and upper back to spread strain over all those surfaces instead of concentrating it on the shoulder as is the case with the unprotected shoulder under an injury condition.
How does the Angle Shoulder Brace™ help if you have an existing Shoulder separation injury?
When used to protect an existing shoulder dislocation, The Angle Shoulder brace™ stabilizes and supports the shoulder joint, spreads strain and impact over the entire surface of the garment, raises muscle temperature to increase blood flow and promote healing in the joint and surrounding tissue. It compartmentalizes and protects the shoulder joint.