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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 also dislocate the shoulder.
If you think you may have a dislocated shoulder, go to your doctor or visit a local urgent care facility.
With early treatment, a dislocated shoulder won't usually cause permanent damage and generally doesn't require surgery.
Shoulder Dislocation Evaluation
After a physical exam and X-rays, a specialist will pop your shoulder back into place. This stops the pain almost immediately.
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.
If you have had several dislocations, bone loss can accumulate over time leading to further instability. In this scenario, a ligament repair is not successful and replacement of the bone is a better option.