Shoulder Dislocation 2018-02-20T13:15:16-05:00


If you have ever had your shoulder dislocated, you know how painful it can be. The shoulder is a ball-in-socket joint; this makes the shoulder extremely mobile. It has a great range of motion that some other joints in the body do not. You may not focus on your shoulder, but it is crucial in throwing and reaching up for things. You do not know how important your shoulder is until you are unable to move it. With the shoulder being a ball-in-socket joint, it has the potential to dislocate.

Partial & Total Dislocation

A dislocated shoulder is the result of your shoulder coming out of its socket. The socket is so loose that with the right amount of force, it can dislocate easily. Dislocation may be partial or total. A partial dislocation is a result of only part of the shoulder coming out of the joint. A complete dislocation is the movement of the whole shoulder out of the joint. Both are very painful. You may find that the shoulder is sitting lower than normal. In most cases, the shoulder is pushed down. Shoulder dislocation may not affect any other part of the should like the rotator cuff. Just because your shoulder is dislocated does not mean your rotator cuff will tear. In more extreme cases this may happen. Shoulder replacement can be a result of a fall, injury, or accident. They are commonly seen in sports injuries. The impact on your shoulder can knock it right out of place.

If you dislocate your shoulder, you will feel the pain instantly. It is not something you will go days without fixing. Symptoms include swelling, pain, and a lot of discomforts. You may also experience weakness in the arm. A dislocated shoulder is something that needs immediate medical attention. If you do not fix the problem right away, you run the risk of causing a tear or having nerve damage. The pain will not go away until the shoulder is put back into place. You may be afraid of the thought of having your shoulder popped back in place, but it is necessary. If you are not a trained in how to pop a shoulder back in place, then you should not. Do not try to put your shoulder back in place yourself. Leave the shoulder where it is. Do not allow anyone else to touch it either unless they are a medical professional. If you try to put the shoulder back in place, you may do even more damage. The best thing to do is ice the joint. The ice will decrease the swelling and can numb some of the pain.


Diagnosis of a dislocated shoulder is made through x-ray. With an X-ray, the doctor can see where the shoulder bone is in relation to the joint. X-ray shows bones so further imaging may need to be done to see the tendons and muscle. That is only if there is suspicion of a tear or rip. Once shoulder dislocation is confirmed, you will receive immediate treatment. Unfortunately, treatment involves putting the shoulder back in place. The worst part about getting your shoulder popped back in place is that you are not put to sleep and usually not given anything to numb your arm beforehand. The doctor may count with you and pop it back in place. The action of putting the shoulder back in place is extremely quick but painful.

Once the doctor puts the shoulder back in place, you will be given a sling to hold your shoulder up. The sling keeps the shoulder at a comfortable position. Shoulder dislocation does not require surgery unless you have torn the tendons around the shoulder. Recovery time is usually only a few weeks. After your shoulder is popped back in place, you will have a limited range of motion. After a few weeks, you will be able to move your shoulder without any pain. Now that you have dislocated your shoulder once, you are prone to other dislocations. Dislocation of the shoulder may make the shoulder joint unstable. Although you can move your shoulder just fine, you have to be more careful. Even minor things can cause a shoulder dislocation. If you continue to dislocate your shoulder, you may need surgery. The surgery can repair or strengthen the tendons holding the shoulder in place.

A dislocated shoulder is not a fun experience. It is very painful and causes a lot of discomforts. The pain and discomfort affect your range of motion. You must get your shoulder popped back in place immediately. That process is not comfortable at all but in the end, you are better off. The mechanism for popping your shoulder back in place is so quick it is over even before it starts. A dislocated shoulder is not the end of the world. It is painful but after a few weeks, it will be good as new.


There are hundreds of Sports Medicine Specialists to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Sports Medicine takes the knowledge and finesse of an experienced Sports Medicine Specialist. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Sports Medicine Specialists – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.

For your peace of mind, Top10MD Sports Medicine Specialists’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.

Take Control of Your Health & Schedule a Consultation Today!

Find Your Doctor
Find Your Doctor