Shoulder Disclocation - Recovery Tips
A shoulder dislocation is a traumatic injury of the shoulder in which the humeral head (or the “ball” of the ball-and-socket joint) slides completely out of the glenoid (the “socket”).
More Resources to Get Better
If you suffer a traumatic shoulder injury during sports, you certainly want to recover quickly. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss the challenges young athletes have after suffering a shoulder dislocation.
In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss the return to play after surgery to stabilize an unstable shoulder.
What is the best treatment for a shoulder dislocation during the season?
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Frequently Asked Questions on Shoulder Dislocation Injuries
- +What is this injury?
-What is this injury?A shoulder dislocation is a traumatic injury of the shoulder in which the humeral head (or the “ball” of the ball-and-socket joint) slides completely out of the glenoid (the “socket”). Doctors and athletic trainers can reduce the humeral head back into place on the field, court, sidelines, or training room, but most often reduction requires sedation in a medical facility. While years ago a shoulder dislocation was not thought to cause any long-term problems, studies have shown a high rate of recurrent shoulder instability, especially in young athletes.
- +What are the common treatments?
-What are the common treatments?Often working with a physical therapist can help an athlete regain motion and strength of the shoulder after a shoulder dislocation. Often these injuries lead to repeated episodes of instability, especially in young athletes. Therefore many surgeons perform arthroscopic surgery to repair the detached labrum and tighten the capsule.
- +How long could it take to recover?
-How long could it take to recover?Recovery largely depends on whether surgery is necessary. Often an athlete can return to play during the same season after a shoulder dislocation. If surgery is necessary, full recovery and return to sports can take up to six months or longer.
- +What should I ask my doctor?
-What should I ask my doctor?It is always a good idea to ask if surgery is necessary and if there are nonsurgical treatment options that can be tried first. If you choose to undergo surgery, understanding what restrictions the surgeon will place after surgery and what you can safely do, such as driving and working, are important. Also ask when you could expect to safely return to your sport or exercise.