Shoulders are the most dislocated joint and occur when your upper arm bone or humerus becomes wholly or partially detached from the scapula or shoulder bone. It is a common injury seen at A&E as it usually occurs after a heavy fall, such as a ski accident, or an impact on the shoulder, experienced in contact sports like rugby.
The shoulder can dislocate either forwards, backwards or downwards – forward or anterior dislocation is the most common and accounts for up to 97% of cases. The symptoms of a dislocated shoulder are felt immediately and usually extremely painful. Often, you’ll see an obvious deformity in the shoulder joint with swelling and bruising. Any movement is uncomfortable.
Men are much more likely to experience a shoulder dislocation and, if a shoulder has dislocated once, it is much more likely to recur. This can lead to shoulder instability and eventually may result in osteoarthritis.
Diagnosis of a shoulder dislocation is made by a physical examination and X-rays for diagnosis and to rule out a fracture.
Shoulder dislocation management typically compromises a period of rest and immobilisation of the shoulder in a sling. A structured rehabilitation programme then follows this.
A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has reviewed the effectiveness of exercise in preventing further dislocation and aid in returning to full activity.
Combining surgery and exercise after a shoulder dislocation
The authors reviewed studies into shoulder dislocations that covered exercise as a standalone treatment and exercise as part of post-surgery shoulder dislocation management.
They found that after an initial shoulder dislocation, exercise combined with surgery is more effective at reducing the risk of a further shoulder dislocation than exercise alone. It was also a more successful approach to facilitating a return to work or sports.
For more advice on your surgical options after a shoulder dislocation, call xxx to arrange a consultation with one of the London Shoulder Specialists.