How do you fix a dislocated shoulder?
A dislocated shoulder can be fixed by putting it back in place. The medical terminology for this is a shoulder reduction. This is usually done in an emergency room with sedation. Even when a dislocated shoulder is put back in place, there may be damage that will require surgery. Here at Easy Orthopedics in Colorado, we frequently take care of patients who have had shoulder dislocations.
How long does it take to recover from a dislocated shoulder?
Recovering from a dislocated shoulder anywhere from 6 weeks 3 months. This assumes that it was put back into place and is stable without any significant structural damage. Most ligaments take around 6 weeks to fully heal, with more time afterwards to regain motion and strength. You will be able to do most activities in about 2 weeks, but will likely need to hold off on major activities for a few months. Younger patients that dislocate their shoulder also usually tear their anterior labrum. This may lead to instability and more dislocations that will require surgery. Elderly patients who dislocate their shoulder may tear their rotator cuff, which will also require surgery. The best way to find out if your dislocated shoulder will need surgery is to see your local orthopedic surgeon.
How can you tell if you have a dislocated shoulder?
You can tell if you have a dislocated shoulder if you have significant pain, and you are unable to move your arm. You may not be able to touch your opposite shoulder with the arm that has dislocated. The best way to tell if you have a dislocated shoulder is to get x-rays of your shoulder, but these must include the axillary view, or they are not adequate. Emergency rooms frequently will skip this view and often risk missing a shoulder dislocation that is not found until later on.
Can you pop your shoulder back into place?
You can pop your shoulder back into place, but you may not be able to due to the pain or if it is stuck. Most people who are able to pop their shoulder back into place have a history of shoulder dislocations where it comes out easily and can go back in easily. Forcing your shoulder back into place when it won’t go can lead to breaking it. The best way to get your dislocated shoulder back into place is to go to the emergency room where they will sedate you and then get it back into place while you are asleep.
I hope we were able to answer some of your questions about how you fix a dislocated shoulder. If you would like us to evaluate your dislocated shoulder and are in the Colorado area, contact us below to make an appointment.