A shoulder subluxation is a similar injury to a shoulder dislocation, but many people don’t know about this shoulder injury. Instead of the ball popping completely out of the socket, so to speak, with a dislocated shoulder, the shoulder partially slides out of place or slides out and right back in when you sublux the shoulder.

With a first-time shoulder dislocation, an athlete can tear the labrum and stretch out the capsule and ligaments stabilizing the shoulder. Orthopedic surgeons often repair the labrum and tighten the capsule surgically after the first dislocation or if it becomes a recurrent problem.

 

With a shoulder subluxation, the treatment plan isn’t quite as clear. Often physical therapy to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and muscles around the shoulder can help stabilize the joint.

If an active patient continues to be limited by repeated episodes where the shoulder subluxes, seeing an orthopedic surgeon, getting an MRI and even undergoing surgery can be good options.

Physical therapy can be very helpful for a shoulder subluxation

If you feel like you have suffered a shoulder subluxation or your shoulder subluxes repeatedly, watch this video to learn more about how to make the diagnosis and what can be done about it.

Also read:
Shoulder dislocations: Initial management and treatment
Can you return to play after a shoulder dislocation?

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