Dislocated shoulder is an injury in the upper arm bone which resulted from a sudden blow to the shoulders that pull the bones out of place. The upper arm bone may pop out of the cup-shaped socket’s part of the shoulder blade. This may cause significant damage to the surrounding soft tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. The shoulder joint is prone to injuries because it is inherently unstable.

Some of the causes of dislocated shoulder are:

  • Falls
  • Sports injuries
  • Accidents

Symptoms of dislocated shoulder may include:

  • Visible deformity or out-of-place shoulder
  • Severe pain
  • Inability to move the joint
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Numbness
  • Weakness or tingling near the injury
  • Discoloration through the arm to the hand


To diagnose dislocated shouldre, your doctor may examine if there are tenderness, deformity and swelling in the affected area. To confirm diagnosis, he or she may order an X-ray test to show the broken bones or to know the extent of the damage in the shoulder joint.



Treatment for dislocated shoulder may vary depending upon the severity of the condition. Immediate treatment for a dislocated shoulder has two stages. First, to protect the shoulder joint and prevent further damage. This may include the process of close reduction, wherein the doctor may perform a gentle maneuver to bring the shoulder bones back in place. Putting ice on the shoulder may also help reduce inflammation and pain while immobilization like using a sling may avoid further dislocation of the part.

Secondly, is to seek prompt medical attention. Treatment in this stage may include:

  • Rehabilitation – A gradual rehabilitation program may help restore range of motion, strength and stability of the shoulder joint.
  • Surgery – Recurring shoulder dislocations or damage in the nerves or blood vessels may require surgical method.
  • Medication- Pain relievers and muscle relaxant may help reduce pain.



Dislocated shoulder is a common sport injury. To somehow lessen your risk, you can wear protective gear such as shoulder pads whenever you are going to play sports. Regular exercise may help maintain  the strength and flexibility of the joints and muscles.

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