By Dr. Neelabh, Orthopaedics
Situations where your arm bone snaps out of the shoulder socket result in an injury known as Shoulder Dislocation. This injury generally occurs if you suffer a bad fall or get hit very hard. The shoulder joint is the most frequently injured joint in the body. The mobility of the shoulder joint makes it extremely unstable and thus, more vulnerable to injury.
In extreme cases, the nerves and tissues around the joint can get wounded if you dislocate your shoulder. If shoulder dislocation occurs frequently, you could end up suffering from chronic weakness and disability.
Sportsmen, especially those who are into sports such as football, hockey, rugby, skiing and volleyball are more prone to this condition.
Symptoms and signs of a dislocated shoulder include:
- Visibly crooked or disconnected shoulder
- Severe pain
- Bruising or swelling
- Reduced movement of joints
- Surgery: Surgery might be needed if there is a tendency of this condition to recur.
- Closed Reduction: The doctor tries to put the shoulder bones back into their proper positions while using anaesthetics to relieve pain.
- Immobilization: A special sling or splint would be used for few weeks to prevent movement of the shoulder.
- Medication: Medications such as pain relievers or muscle relaxants might be prescribed to provide comfort during the period when the shoulder heals.
- For swelling and pain, anti-inflammatory drugs and non-steroidal medicines such as naproxen or ibuprofen might be prescribed.
The normal recovery period for a dislocated shoulder usually takes about 12 to 16 weeks. Most activities can be resumed within two weeks. However, you should try to avoid heavy lifting as well as playing sports that involve shoulder movements for a period of six weeks to three months.