The shoulder joint
is the most frequently dislocated major joint of the body. Dislocations
typically occur when an impact causes an abduction or extreme rotation and the
head of the upper arm bone (the humerus) pops out of the socket. A subluxation
is a partial dislocation.
The shoulder can dislocate in any direction. Pain is intense and
common. Swelling, numbness, and weakness soon follow. It's diagnosed with a
physical exam and x-rays to rule out a fracture.
Treatment Doctors replace the ball of the humerus
into the joint by a procedure called reduction. The arm is put in a sling or a
shoulder immobilizer for several weeks. After pain and swelling decreases
physical therapy is started to restore the range of motion of the shoulder and
strengthen the muscles.
A dislocated shoulder make an athlete more likely to have
another injury, because ligaments may be stretched.
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