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Dislocated Shoulder Treatment in Orange County

Shoulder Orthopedic Doctors Ready to Help You

If your shoulder has moved out of its joint, you’ve sustained an either partially or completely dislocated shoulder. As the human body’s most mobile joint that allows the arms to move in many directions, the unfortunate drawback is how easy it is to dislocate the shoulder, especially for those who are very physically active.

If you suspect you have dislocated your shoulder, it’s important to seek urgent medical care. Do not attempt to pop your shoulder back into place, as this can cause more harm than good, and it may actually make the joint more unstable and prone to repeat dislocations. When the shoulder dislocates, the outer rim of the glenoid (called the labrum) is often injured too. Damage also occurs to the ligaments and capsule that normally hold the shoulder in place. Labral tears can also occur when the shoulder slides partially out of the joint.

Have I Dislocated My Shoulder?

If you believe you have a dislocated shoulder, don’t move the affected arm, but keep it close to the body. Do not have someone attempt to jam the shoulder back into its socket, as this can cause damage to the inner tissues. As you wait for medical treatment, apply an ice pack to the injured area to ease swelling and reduce pain, and take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) painkillers for pain. If your symptoms follow the list below, you should go to the hospital or to an orthopedic urgent care for prompt treatment.

Dislocated shoulder symptoms include:

  • Sudden, excruciating pain
  • A visibly deformed out-of-place shoulder
  • Swelling causing immobility of the arm
  • Numbness, tingling, sometimes including the neck, arms or fingers
  • Bruising or redness
  • Muscle spasms that may worsen pain
  • Weakness

Dislocated Shoulder Diagnosis

Upon your arrival at the hospital or orthopedic urgent care facility, you will receive a full physical exam where your shoulder doctor will ask how the dislocation likely occurred, and if you have previously dislocated a shoulder. Your doctor may order a variety of imaging tests to detect the degree of dislocation and if the inner soft tissues have been damaged, as well. Most likely, your doctor will order X-rays, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test, or a computerized-tomography (CT) scan, to reveal any bone fractures the X-ray did not detect.

Do I Need to See a Doctor for a Dislocated Shoulder?

You may think a dislocated shoulder can be self-treated by simply “popping” your shoulder back into place. However, this can cause more harm than good, and lead to chronic shoulder instability and repeated future shoulder dislocations. An orthopedist can carefully manipulate your shoulder to put the ball of your upper arm bone back into its ball-and-socket joint in a process known as a closed reduction, or if you need more extensive treatment, your orthopedist will determine the correct treatment to help reduce your pain.

Do you need treatment for a dislocated shoulder? Contact Hoag Orthopedic Institute today at (855) 999-4641 to book your appointment.

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