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The shoulder is actually the joint characterized by thegreatest range of motion of all joints in the human body, but unfortunatelythat means that it is also very susceptible to dislocation and several othertypes of injuries. It may also be involved with subluxation, which is amedicinal term for the partial disclocation of the shoulder. There are threemain types of shoulder dislocations and those are anterior dislocation,posterior dislocation and inferior dislocation. Anterior or forward shoulderdislocations are the most common of them all. In most cases they aresub-coracoid but there also cases in which they may be retroperitoneal,intrathoric, subclavicular or sub-glenoid. Anterior dislocations may sometimesbe held responsible for inducing damage to the axillary artery. Posterior orbackward dislocations are not that common and they usually occur due to seizureor electrocution triggered by strength imbalance of the muscles known asrotator cuffs. These types of dislocations commonly go unnoticed. The thirdtype of shoulder dislocation is the rarest form and it is called inferior ordownward dislocation. This medical condition is also sometimes referred to asluxatio erecta. The biggest problem with this type of shoulder dislocation isthat it often leads to the development of various different types of ligament,tendon, neurological and vascular injuries. According to certain statisticaldata, men are affected a bit more by shoulder dislocation than women.


Shoulder dislocation is in most cases induced by sports relatedinjuries, falls or sudden impacts. The most common signs of a dislocatedshoulder include arms which seem to hang low, a forearm which is turned outwardor inward, torn tendons, torn ligaments, nerve damage, bruising, weakness,numbness, swelling, very limited mobility of the arm, severe pain around theshoulder joint, and visibly displaced shoulder.

Treatment Options

If a person suspects a dislocation injury, he or she needsto seek immediate medical attention. A splint or a sling can be helpful when itcomes to keeping a dislocated shoulder in position. Extremely painfulsensations which are commonly associated with dislocated shoulders need to bealleviated by strong analgesics. In order to treat a dislocated shoulder, thedoctor needs to perform a physical examination and diagnose the conditionproperly. He or she needs to be well informed about the injury and any previousoccurrences of shoulder dislocation. The first thing that needs to be done isto return the shoulder to its normal position by utilized certain processeswhich are referred to as reduction. Closed reduction involves certain techniqueswhich manipulate the joint and the bone from the outside. Once the joint isreturned to its original place, the severe pain commonly associated withdislocation stops immediately. There are also cases of shoulder dislocation inwhich the reduction cannot be of any help. These cases require surgical openreductions. Once this type of reduction is finished, the joint needs to bescanned with x-ray imaging in order to determine that there are no fractionsand that the intervention was fully successful. Once the procedure is complete,the shoulder needs to be kept in an immobilizer or a sling in order to preventany unwanted movement. The arm needs to be placed in the position which iscalled external rotation.

Surgery and Non-Operative

There are certain non urgent cases of dislocated shoulderwhich do not call for surgical interventions when it comes to repairing thedamage induced onto the tissues which surround the affected joints. Theshoulder stability in these cases can be restored relatively easily byutilizing certain types of techniques. The shoulder capsule can easily betightened by using arthroscopic surgery techniques. There is also a well knowntype of treatment method for all cases of recurrent anterior stability of theshoulder and this one is known as Bankart repair. This type of surgery is veryefficient when it comes to lessening the pain and improving the functions of adislocated shoulder while at the same time it may also come in very handy inrepairing the torn anterior glenoid labrum without the need for arthroscopy.Some cases may require a bone graft in order to restore stability reduced by aworn or broken shoulder socket. In some posterior cases of shoulderdislocation, the shoulder socket may need to be reshaped. Osteotomy and graftcombined in one procedure may be of great help when it comes to dealing withsuch issues. The most common substitute for all different sorts of surgicalstabilizations of dislocated shoulders is the rotator cuff and deltoidstrengthening. Certain types of long term progressive resistance exercises arecommonly utilized for such purposes. Less severe cases of shoulder dislocationtend not to respond well to non operative treatment methods. Traumatic types ofshoulder dislocation are commonly associated with a high number ofcapsuloligamentous injuries so that is why they do not respond well toconservative methods of treatment.

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