Young man with shoulder pain

Shoulder dislocation happens when the ball on your upper arm (humerus) pops partially or fully out of the socket on your shoulder blade. A dislocated shoulder can be extremely painful. It may also be swollen, bruised and visibly out of place.

Common causes include sports injuries, falls on your shoulder and electric shocks. Muscle contractions from electric shock can dislocate the shoulder.

If you think you may have a dislocated shoulder, go to your doctor. With early treatment, a dislocated shoulder won't usually cause permanent damage.

Most dislocated shoulders do not require surgery. After a physical exam and X-rays at the University of Maryland Orthopaedics, a shoulder specialist will pop your shoulder back into place. This stops the pain almost immediately. Before treatment, your doctor may give you medicine to relieve pain and relax your muscles.

You may wear a sling for a week or two and will use ice to relieve pain and swelling. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin can also help. Physical therapy may be prescribed to help strengthen your shoulder muscles and prevent another dislocation.

Shoulder Dislocation Surgery

Dislocation may tear or stretch tendons and ligaments that hold the shoulder in place. This can make it unstable and result in another dislocation. You may need surgery to repair these injuries.

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment with a shoulder specialist or learn more about our services and locations. Please call 410-448-6400 or request an appointment online.