Shoulder Dislocation Treatment

Shoulder Dislocation Treatment Assessed in the British Medical Journal

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has recently assessed the treatment of shoulder dislocation. Causing a lot of pain and discomfort, shoulder dislocations tend to have a significant impact on daily activities. Understanding how to treat them correctly can reduce costs as well as prevent recurring dislocations.

Here, we will look at what the BMJ assessment revealed and the various shoulder dislocation treatments available.

What did the assessment reveal?

The latest assessment into the treatment of shoulder dislocations revealed some interesting statistics. Relating to traumatic anterior shoulder dislocation, the authors of the study hope it will help surgeons better manage and treat their patients.

It revealed that patients who have a suspected dislocation should be referred to emergency services to receive a reduction. It also showed that patients most likely to experience their first traumatic first-time anterior shoulder dislocation, are men aged from 16 to 20, and women aged 61 to 70. Interestingly, men aged 40 and over were also identified as being more at risk of a reoccurring dislocation.

In terms of treatment, it was revealed that there is no evidence to suggest what period of immobilisation of the shoulder is required for preventing recurrence. Typically, the advice is to immobilise the shoulder for a period of one week. It was also found that younger patients who led an active lifestyle, were more likely to achieve better outcomes from surgical treatment than older patients.

Who is more susceptible to shoulder dislocations?

Anybody can experience a shoulder dislocation in their lifetime. However, there are certain groups that are more susceptible.

It is known that around 70% of shoulder dislocations occur in men. As touched upon earlier, men aged 16 to 20 and women aged 61 to 70 were most at risk of suffering a dislocation in the UK.

Shoulder dislocation treatments

There are a number of treatments which can be used to treat a shoulder dislocation. Firstly, a closed reduction is typically attempted.

This is basically where the shoulder is pushed back into its joint by the doctor. It can be uncomfortable, but you may be given a muscle relaxer or a mild sedative to help ease discomfort. An X-ray will be carried out afterwards to ensure the shoulder is back in position.

After the dislocation has been pushed back in, it will typically be immobilised for a set time period to help it heal. This involves wearing a sling to keep the shoulder in position. Pain medication may be provided during recovery, alongside physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be required. If the closed reduction failed, surgical treatment may be the only option.

It is important for patients to understand their options when it comes to the treatments available. Younger patients were shown to fare better when undergoing surgery compared to older patients. However, like all surgeries there are complications and risks to be aware of. Patients need to have a full understanding of all of their options in order to make the best treatment decision.

For more advice on shoulder dislocations and instability, call 0203 195 2442 to arrange a consultation with our shoulder consultants at our London shoulder clinic