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Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms and Treatment

Feb 19, 2018

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and is responsible for the arm’s ability to rotate in a variety of directions. This functioning allows you to perform a wide variety of tasks that help you navigate through your daily environment. It also makes you vulnerable to injuries and tissue damage. Considering the types of shoulder injuries that the Atlanta Orthopedic Doctors at AICA Orthopedics treat each year, dislocations are the most common. In most cases, the humerus bone moves toward the front of the body instead of the back. This often leads to nerve damage. The potential short and long-term consequences of a dislocation demand that patients seek treatment as soon as possible.

Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms

Common symptoms associated with dislocations include sharp or intense pain, especially when trying to rotate the shoulder, tenderness, inflammation, and bruising. An orthopedic doctor can perform an evaluation of the condition to understand whether a dislocation exists or if there is a separation. If the dislocation is severe, the patient may experience permanent joint or nerve damage. Once the doctor completes their examination and understands the characteristics of the injury, they can develop a custom treatment plan that focuses on resetting the shoulder bone to its natural position.

Orthopedic Treatment For A Dislocated Shoulder

When a patient experiences intense shoulder pain, the orthopedist will likely use some kind of imaging device, such as an MRI or an Ultrasound, to locate the source of the pain and the extent of the condition. Conservative forms of treatment will be exercised first including rest, temperature therapy, and the use of a sling to stabilize the injured shoulder. Physical therapy may be recommended to help restrengthen damaged muscles and restore flexibility. If the injury does not appear to be responding to such solutions, your doctor may want to discuss surgery as an alternative.

To prevent future injuries from occurring, your doctor will likely advise you to refrain from performing actions that cause any type of pain. Our staff can show you specific exercises you can perform to complement your recovery process and help restore mobility. Although it is tempting to revert back to your favorite activities or routine, it is important to adhere to your doctor’s recommendations for rest. Most cases require a few months to heal and performing any kind of physical activity can cause serious setbacks.  Contact our office to learn more about our approach to treating dislocated shoulders – just dial (404) 855-2141.


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