Is Surgery Required For A Shoulder Dislocation?

Is Surgery Required For A Shoulder Dislocation?

Has your athletic performance suffered recently due to a shoulder injury? It’s possible that a shoulder dislocation is to blame. While treatment for shoulder dislocations varies between patients, our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute is here to help! Our dedicated staff provides quality orthopedic care to our patients to help them through the stages of their recovery and get them back on the playing field. 

Shoulder Dislocation

The shoulder is the joint that facilitates most arm movements and allows for overhead motions. When the proximal humerus, or top of your upper arm bone, pops out of the joint, it can result in a shoulder dislocation. The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body, making it more susceptible to this kind of injury. Seeking prompt treatment after a shoulder injury can prevent prolonged pain and complications. Here are some symptoms of a dislocated shoulder to look out for:

  • Visible deformity in the shoulder. The shoulder is out of place. 
  • Inability to move the shoulder. 
  • Intense pain. 
  • Bruising or swelling. 
  • Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the shoulder. 

The most common cause of shoulder dislocations is a strong force on the elbow. This force can be a result of extreme rotation. Some contact sports can lead to shoulder dislocations because of the brute force often placed in this area. When dealing with shoulder dislocation, pain and instability are not all the issues that can take place. Seeking treatment from our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute can help you avoid the following complications:

  • Injuries or tears in the surrounding systems that keep the shoulder joint stable. 
  • Increased risk of recurrent shoulder dislocations.
  • Damage to nerves and blood vessels around the shoulder. 

Treating Shoulder Dislocations

After a shoulder dislocation, our orthopedist will perform a thorough evaluation of your shoulder to determine the severity of your injury and outline a personalized treatment plan. If this is your first dislocation, you may not require surgery if the injury is not severe. Our team may adjust the shoulder to set it back into place and provide you with a specialized sling to keep your shoulder immobilized during the healing process. After the immobilization period, you may gradually return to physical activity under the guidance of our team. If your dislocation is severe or you’ve dealt with multiple dislocations before your visit, you may require surgical treatment to repair the joint. 

Our orthopedic surgeon may surgically tighten or repair the ligaments that connect the arm bone to the shoulder blade to prevent this injury from recurring in the future. After your procedure, it’s essential to be careful with your shoulder and arm for a few months. Depending on how damaged the surrounding ligaments were, you may need to wear a sling for at least six weeks. We also recommend physical therapy to help build strength in the arm and restore range of motion. It’s also crucial that you do not re-injure the arm during your recovery, so you should avoid strenuous activities before the ligaments have healed. Our staff will help you during every step of the recovery process to safely get you back to full health and optimal performance. 

Contact Us

If you are experiencing pain and instability resulting from a shoulder dislocation, our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute is here to help. While surgery may be the last thing you want when dealing with an injury, it is sometimes necessary to make a full recovery. Our team will examine your situation with great care to find the best treatment option for you and guide you through this process. To learn more about how we treat shoulder dislocations, be sure to contact us today!



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