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Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

The shoulder is an extraordinary machine. The unique shoulder anatomy allows for the most excellent range of movement of every joint in the body. The shoulder joint will enable various range of activities such as installing a light bulb to doing a handstand.

Massive, broad shoulders are indicators of strength, durability, and endurance. A healthy and robust shoulder joint is a must for most sports that require excellent upper body strength such as swinging, throwing, and lifting.

Under normal circumstances, one rarely thinks about shoulders. However, when a shoulder injury occurs, it is often impossible to ignore it. Regardless of how strong or broad the shoulder is, it does not change the fact that shoulder dislocation is the most common joint injury.

This article reviews important aspects of shoulder dislocation, causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment provided by Dr. Chandra Sekhar From Hyderabad Shoulder Clinic.

See your doctor right away if you feel you have shoulder dislocation. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chandra Sekhar From Hyderabad Shoulder Clinic Now.

What is a Shoulder Dislocation?

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

Human shoulder joint consists of three bones:-
1. Collarbone
2. Shoulder blade
3. Bone in the upper arm. The top bones of the upper arm are shaped like a ball. This ball fits into the shoulder blade, which is a cuplike socket.

Shoulder dislocation is an injury that occurs when the ball pops out from the shoulder blade or a socket. Dislocation usually occurs when the upper bone moved from the joint of the shoulder blade. If the ball pops out partially protruding from the socket, then it may be a partial dislocation. If the ball joint is completely coming out of the socket joint, then it could be a total shoulder dislocation.

What Causes Shoulders Dislocation?

A traumatic and painful injury causes a dislocated shoulder.

Shoulder dislocation is caused when the hand is moved with strong force like sudden impact pulls and pushes, while rotating the arm up, or down. Usually, the shoulder joint gets removed and rotated out from the socket. Common causes include:-

  • Injuries in sports
  • Accidents
  • When falling on the shoulder or when the arm stretched
  • Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs)
  • Loose Ligaments
  • Spasms and electric shock, which can cause muscle contractions, pull the joint out of position

Sports Injury:

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

Shoulder dislocations are the most common in sports activities, mainly where the shoulder is used repeatedly and forcibly. Also, any impact involving rotational movements increases the likelihood of shoulder dislocation.

Injury, which is common in all subsequent sports, often results in deterioration of the shoulder (certain activities in sports that can cause shoulder dislocation are listed below)

  • Hockey: Contact with a hockey stick, Impact with walls and barriers; falling on ice, High-speed attacks with other players
  • Rugby: Tackling, strong hit with one or more players, the collision of turf with other players (especially if one or more of them fall on you)
  • Rock Climbing: Slip and bend.
  • Soccer: Tackles, collision with hard kicked balls
  • Skiing: Falling at high speed, long skidding accidents, collision with the hard surface or ice.
  • Football: Full speed falling to the turf, excessive stretching, throwing too hard; reaching over to grab or catch, High-speed impact with other players, Overtraining.
  • Gymnastics: Impacts, especially that you have to put all the weight on one’s hands, falling from a height, Impact on equipment such as pommel horse or a balance beams.
  • Volleyball: Fall, excessive stretching, hit by a fastball.
  • To hang on one arm for too long with full weight, trying to catch a heavy falling object.

Impact injury

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

  • Car accidents: During a crash, the shoulder often bears the brunt of blows.
  • Hard impacts on the shoulder: Accidentally sticking to a door frame when moving, or hitting a joint during an altercation.
  • Severe spasms or concussion.


Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

  • Trying to Break A Fall: Getting your arm out is completely automatic, but often results in a curved shoulder, and in the worst case it results in a snapped collarbone.
  • Any fall: A fall of only 4 or 5 feet can be dangerous, whether falling from a ladder on shoulders or tripping and falling completely to the ground. All of this can cause dislocation of the shoulder joint.
  • Impacts onto hard surfaces: Dropping onto surfaces such as concrete paving or wooden floors can cause a shoulder dislocation.

Repetitive Stress Trauma:

  • Overtraining: Often caused by overtraining in specific sports-related movements, for example. Practice golf swing, swimming too many laps, serving too many tennis balls or volleyball, or throwing in too much baseball, football baits or basketball shots.
  • Work-related activities: Cutting wood, moving, or digging.

Loose Ligaments:

  • Loosening of Connective Tissue: The ligament in the shoulder, which usually supports the upper arm bone in the shoulder can become loose due to injury, overuse, or previous shoulder dislocation. Such unstable ligaments can undergo repeated dislocations.
  • Multidirectional Instability: This is a fantastic name for a genetic disorder known as double jointedness.

Who is at Risk For a Shoulder Dislocation

A dislocated shoulder can happen to anyone, but it is more common in young men who are more likely to do sports and other physical activities. Older adults, especially women, are also at a higher risk because they are more likely to fall.

What Are the Symptoms of A Dislocated Shoulder?

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

The shoulder is a connection with three main bones. These bones include the shoulder blades (scapula) and clavicle (bones) and arm bones (humerus). Bones are connected by soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, and capsules, which provide a platform for arm function.

The shoulder joint also has the most extensive range of motion of all joints in the body. Because of this mobility, the arm is more likely to be injured than in other areas of the body. It is important to treat pain that can be caused by injuries. Some common symptoms of shoulder dislocations are:

  • Severe shoulder pain felt at the time of injury
  • Swelling and bruising of the shoulder or upper arm. This symptom usually develops later.
  • If there is any nerve or blood vessel damage, then there is a feeling of numbness and weakness in the arm, neck, hand, or fingers
  • Trouble to move the hand
  • The Arm looks out of place
  • Muscle spasms in the shoulder
  • The patient may hear the pop sound exactly when the shoulder dislocates

If you have these above symptoms, get treatment right away from the doctor.

Contact Dr. Chandra Sekhar From Hyderabad Shoulder Clinic

How is a Dislocated Shoulder Diagnosed?

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

Doctor will take the medical history and examine the shoulder, and can also ask for an x-ray.

What are the Treatments for a Dislocated Shoulder?

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms & Causes

Treatment depends on symptoms, age, and overall health. It also depends on how severe the condition is.
Treatment may include the below steps:

  • The closed reduction where the doctor places the top handball back into the socket. A doctor will give medication and anesthesia to relieve pain and to relax the shoulder muscles. After the joint returns to its original position, the intense pain will stop.
  • Using a sling or immobilizer to hold the shoulder in place. It should be worn a few days to a few weeks as per doctor’s recommendation.
  • Rehabilitation after the pain and swelling is reduced. Exercises to increase range of movement and to strengthen the muscles.
  • Surgery may be needed if there is an injury of the tissue or nerves in the shoulder or in case of repeated dislocation.

A doctor provides the above treatment, and treatment varies as per the patient’s condition. Dislocation can make the shoulder unstable, and there is a higher risk of recurrence. The Doctor may ask you to continue with some exercises to prevent dislocation over again.


Dislocation of the shoulder is a painful injury that can happen to anyone. Fortunately, most of these injuries can be treated without surgery. Younger and more active people have a higher risk of shoulder dislocation. Repeated shoulder dislocations can cause chronic instability, additional shoulder injuries, and shoulder arthritis. Surgery can be performed on patients at higher risk, to prevent further damage to the shoulder. Contact an orthopedic expert or shoulder specialist, who can make the best decision to treat a shoulder injury.

Contact Dr. Chandra Sekhar From Hyderabad Shoulder Clinic 9959588389 for more information about the shoulder dislocation and treatment options.

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