Recovery Time For Shoulder Dislocation

Recovery Time For Shoulder Dislocation

Are you an athlete who has begun struggling with athletic performance due to shoulder problems? Have you recently suffered a fall that resulted in your shoulder now looking deformed or out of place? If you or a loved one fits these qualifications, a shoulder dislocation may have occurred. While your recovery time from this injury will vary depending on the severity of your dislocation and the symptoms you’re displaying, Dr. Neil S. Roth M.D. and the rest of our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute will be able to provide quality orthopedic care. We’ll assist you through every step of your recovery, and hopefully, give you the best chance of getting back to full strength after this injury.

What Is A Shoulder Dislocation?   

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint that allows for overhead motion and other arm movements. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the top of your upper arm bone (proximal humerus) pops out of this joint, compromising its integrity. Since the shoulder is the body’s most mobile joint, it is very susceptible to this type of injury. To avoid suffering from any lasting complications, seeking out prompt treatment after a dislocation has taken place is imperative. If you begin to display any of the below symptoms, reach out to our team right away:

  • The shoulder being visibly deformed and out of place.
  • Inability to move the joint.
  • Immense amounts of pain.
  • Swelling or bruising.
  • Muscle and nerve damage.
  • Numbness, weakness, or a tingling sensation near the site of the injury.

What Are The Causes?

Strong forces placed on the elbow are the most common cause of this type of injury. This force can be caused by an extreme rotation of the joint, or if this area is being struck by a brute force.   Males in their teens and early 20s are the most likely group to sustain this type of injury due to the activities of which they often participate. However, anyone can be unfortunate enough to succumb to a dislocation. Dislocations are more likely to be sustained if you’re involved in any of the following:

  • Contact sports such as football, hockey, or lacrosse.
  • A car or motorcycle accident.
  • Slips and falls that result in you landing on your shoulder.  

Complications That Can Take Place

Pain, swelling, and the inability to move your shoulder are unfortunately not the only problems that can take place when you’ve separated this joint. That is why seeking out treatment right away is so crucial to the long term recovery process. Immediate treatment may help you find relief from or prevent the below complications:

  • An increased risk of suffering from recurrent shoulder dislocations.
  • Sustaining damage to the nerves and blood vessels around your shoulder.
  • Tears to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that keep the shoulder stable.

Treatment And Recovery Time 

After suffering from a shoulder dislocation, Dr. Roth, our orthopedist, will perform a full evaluation of your shoulder to determine the extent of the injury. If this is your first case of a shoulder dislocation, the need for surgery could potentially be avoided, depending upon severity. Instead, Dr. Roth can administer a regimen of gentle maneuvers to guide the bones back into place before giving you a specialized sling to wear to help keep the shoulder immobilized for a few days. Following the immobilization period, the sling can be removed, and you can gradually return to physical activity. This process typically takes 12 to 16 weeks.

However, if the dislocation is severe enough, or you’ve dealt with previous dislocations before your visit, surgery may be required. This operation can include some of the following procedures:

  • Placing the bones back into the right positions.
  • Strengthening the weak muscle ligaments, and tendons that keep allowing for dislocations.
  • Repairing the nerves and blood vessels damaged by this injury.

When surgery is required, the time needed to make a full recovery usually can be anywhere between four to six months.     

Contact Dr. Roth:

Failing to receive the proper care you need after a shoulder dislocation will lengthen your recovery process and potentially cause permanent complications. Dr. Roth and our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute will do everything in our power to prevent this from happening.  No matter the cause of the dislocation, we’ll be there to help. If you’ve recently suffered from this type of injury, be sure to request an appointment with us today.