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Non-surgical Treatment for Shoulder Dislocation

As soon as a patient dislocates the shoulder, our experienced surgeon Dr Chandra Shekar B will perform closed reduction to reconnect the joint. This procedure is done at the hospital.

If the ligaments or other soft tissues are intact in the first shoulder dislocation, the surgeons will recommend non-surgical treatment of the shoulder dislocation. The most commonly used non-surgical treatment of shoulder dislocation is applying ice, immobilization, and anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve pain and swelling. After reducing pain and swelling, the patient will regain their movement and shoulder strength by working closely with physical therapy specialists. The time it takes for full recovery depends on the severity of the injury, but most people recover within weeks or months.

Treating shoulder dislocation Non-surgically: What are the options?

Closed Reduction procedure

In the closed reduction procedure, a doctor will put the round end of the arm bone, or humerus, back into place non-surgically. The patient is given local anaesthesia to ease pain before manually repositioning the humerus into the shoulder socket. One will experience reduced pain after a dislocated shoulder has been repositioned. The procedure takes 30 minutes to perform, and within an hour, the patient is sent home, provided there are no additional complications.

Icing and Immobilization 

After shoulder reduction, the shoulder will remain swollen and sore for several days. One should rest and continuously apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling. After some days, the inflammation reduces, and the pain reduces. Our experienced doctors will also recommend using a sling or brace to immobilize the affected arm and shoulder. Immobilization for four to six weeks allows the muscles and other soft tissues to rest and heal. For the first couple of days, please apply the ice pack to the shoulder 3 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes for faster reduction in swelling and ease of pain. Continue the application of ice for one or two more days. Continue for as long as the swelling does not come under control.

Medication for pain relief

After shoulder dislocation, the patient experiences a dull, aching pain in the joint. Pain results from the inflammation of the soft tissues surrounding the injury. Shoulder surgeons will recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to relieve inflammation and reduce pain.

Most of the NSAIDs are available over the counter. However, long-term usage of NSAIDs may cause stomach upset and ulcers.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Due to immobilization, the muscles weaken, and their flexibility also reduces. Hence, one has to do physical therapy to rebuild muscle, improve stability in the shoulder, and prevent further injury.

At Hyderabad Shoulder Clinic, our talented physical therapists will create a recovery plan based on your daily routine, the type of injury that occurred, and your physical goals.

An overall of four to six weeks of physical therapy is recommended as part of a treatment plan for a shoulder dislocation. This period varies based on a person’s age, overall health, previous shoulder injuries, if any, and the severity of dislocation.

The physical therapist will start with simple exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder. The exercises will also focus on the arm and upper back. Strengthening the arm and upper back is important; otherwise, the injured shoulder must bear all the weight during movement. These muscles act as an internal “brace” for the shoulder joint.

Increased flexibility and restoring the range of motion is another goal of physical therapy. The more and more you are shoulder comes back to its original form, your pain reduces, and you can carry on with your daily routine. Once a shoulder has dislocated, they are chances the dislocation can happen again. Hence, after the first shoulder dislocation strengthening exercises are crucial to prevent future shoulder dislocation.

One can also opt for massage therapy, heat and ice therapies, and acupuncture as a part of a plan to enhance your overall well-being as you recover.

Repeated shoulder dislocations mean that the shoulder has become unstable. The soft tissues that stabilize the shoulder may no longer hold the humerus firmly in the socket. Doctors will do some Diagnostic tests to confirm this. In such cases, surgery is required to tighten or repair the torn or stretched ligaments that hold the joint in place. But such a situation can be avoided if the patient is careful enough and follows all the directions of the surgeon and the physical therapist soon after the first dis-location itself. One should also eat a well-balanced diet and is themselves into the daily routine. If you are a professional sportsperson, you should pay additional attention to your physical therapy routine so that your shoulder will regain the capacity to continue with your sport.

We at Hyderabad shoulder clinic have experience treating shoulder dislocations of all ages and professions. We have helped many professional athletes resume their sporting activities after sports injury resulting in shoulder dislocation. Please visit our website or contact us at +91 9959588389, shoulderandsportsclinic@g

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