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Dislocated Shoulder Recovery – What You Need to Know

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Dislocated Shoulder Recovery – What You Need to Know

Sometimes, it starts with an audible pop, but other times, you feel intense pain after falling or taking a blow to your shoulder. Either way, a dislocated shoulder is among the most painful injuries you can experience, so fast treatment is crucial.

Learn about the symptoms and causes and determine when to go to Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care for dislocated shoulder treatment. You can move past the pain and recover from the injury with fast treatment.

Types of Shoulder Dislocations

You can dislocate your shoulder if the head of your upper arm bone moves forward (anterior), behind (posterior), or below (inferior) the socket holding it in place.

Anterior shoulder dislocation is the most common, making up approximately 97% of all cases. Falling on an outstretched arm can cause anterior dislocations and often leads to other injuries as well. For instance, up to 40% of people suffer fractures, tears, or nerve damage as a result of an anterior shoulder dislocation.

Posterior dislocations are much less common, accounting for approximately 2% of these injuries. They're caused by blows to the front of the shoulder or intense muscle contractions resulting from electrocution or seizures.

Only about 1% of dislocations are inferior dislocations. You're at risk of this injury if you grab something above your head to break a fall.

Shoulder Dislocation Symptoms

Shoulder dislocations cause intense symptoms that won't go away until you undergo treatment. Go to urgent care or the emergency room for dislocated treatment if you experience these symptoms:

  • Bruising and swelling
  • Difficulty moving your arm
  • Intense shoulder pain
  • Spasms
  • Weakness or numbness that may travel through your arm, hand, fingers, and neck
  • Visible deformity of the shoulder

It's essential to receive medical attention immediately for a shoulder dislocation. Immobilize and ice the joint on the way to urgent care or the ER to prevent further injury and manage your pain.

dislocated shoulder

Diagnosis for a Dislocated Shoulder

Going to the ER or urgent care for a dislocated shoulder is the fastest way to get a diagnosis and start treatment. Your doctor can diagnose a dislocated shoulder with a physical exam but will order diagnostic testing to evaluate the injury's extent and see if you also have tissue damage or a bone fracture. Depending on your symptoms, you might need an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.

Non-Surgical Shoulder Dislocation Treatment

Shoulder dislocations cause nearly unbearable pain, so your doctor will conduct a closed reduction immediately. Your doctor can provide medication to manage the pain before the procedure and then will put the bone back into the shoulder socket. This is a non-surgical procedure and takes around a half hour to complete. The pain subsides once the bone is back in place unless you also have other damage.

Even with the bone back in place, it's essential to immobilize your shoulder while the injury heals. You'll go home wearing a sling or splint to keep the joint in place and instructions for how long to keep the joint immobilized. You might have to keep it immobilized for several weeks, but some people only need to wear splints or slings for a few days.

Keeping the joint immobilized helps your shoulder heal, but it can cause a decline in strength and range of motion. Your doctor will have you do exercises at home, followed by physical therapy once you're far enough along in your recovery.

Surgical Shoulder Dislocation Treatment

You may need surgery if you have a history of shoulder dislocations or damaged nerves, blood vessels, soft tissue, or bone. Arthrosporic and open shoulder surgery are both options, and many patients go home the same day. You'll need to wear a sling and participate in physical therapy if you have surgery.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Fast Treatment for Dislocated Shoulders at Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.