Simply put, no. You should not attempt to relocate a dislocated , as it can easily cause additional injuries to the joint and the surrounding muscles, blood vessels, or nerves. If you attempt to relocate the shoulder, you could injure a potentially fractured arm – that’s because it’s not always obvious that a shoulder is dislocated, even from compared the injured shoulder to the non-injured one. There are ways, however, you can make sure your arm is less painful until you get to the emergency room or see a doctor. You can place the arm in a sling, apply ice packs, or hold the affected arm with the opposite arm.
Shoulder Anatomy & How to Recognize a Dislocated Shoulder
The shoulder is the most mobile of any of the joints in the human body, making it more prone to injury than any other joint, as well. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with the very top of the upper arm bone (the “ball”) fitting into the cup-shaped socket of the shoulder blade. The shoulders can become dislocated from the arm being pulled or twisted towards the front of back of the body with great force. Another common way the shoulders become dislocated is through a forceful blow or falling on an outstretched arm.
Why it’s Important to See a Doctor After a Shoulder Dislocation
Dislocated shoulders are common, but they are not to be taken lightly. It’s necessary to seek professional medical help to pop the shoulder back into place and so the injury can be evaluated to get the best treatment possible. If you suspect you have dislocated your shoulder, it’s important to seek emergency medical attention within 24 hours, because waiting too long can make it more difficult to pop the joint back in place. A trained ER physician can use conscious sedation to make you more comfortable and loosen tense muscles to pop your shoulder back in place. Surgical treatment may be necessary, especially if you sustain a SLAP tear (damage to the labrum, or tissue surrounding the joint).
Contact Us at Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida
If you have a dislocated shoulder or recurrent shoulder dislocations, we can help. We encourage patients to call OSSWF if you experience significant shoulder pain with a loss of range of motion or pain that gets worse with movement. Our shoulder specialists are highly qualified in hand and upper extremity surgery, although we use surgical intervention as the last resort when conservative measures have failed, or rarely when surgery is considered the best first-line treatment.