Things to know that can help when dealing with a dislocated shoulder

Shoulder dislocation is an injury that frequently occurs among athletes in contact sports like volleyball and football.  Considering the frequency of this type of injury, there are some things athletes need to know when dealing with a dislocated shoulder (click here), so that it can be quickly recognized and treated.

Understanding the Cause

The shoulder is a very mobile joint, so it’s possible to twist and move it in several directions, but this flexibility comes at a price. It makes it more liable to slip out of place, and this is essentially what happens when the shoulder is dislocated. The injury is usually caused by a fall or blow to the shoulder, which results in the collarbone moving out of position.


A dislocated shoulder is usually characterized by severe pain in the upper arm or shoulder. Swelling and bruising may also occur, and mobility is restricted.

Dealing with a dislocated shoulder

If you have any of these symptoms after a hit on the shoulder, and you suspect that it may be dislocated, don’t delay, try to go to your doctor immediately. However, in order to prevent further damage before you make it to the doctor’s office; you should immobilize the shoulder joint by putting it in a sling.

Your doctor will do a thorough examination as well as an X-ray, to determine if there are any accompanying fractures. If the dislocation is not severe, the shoulder can be shifted back in place. However, severe cases may require surgery.

If you live in South Florida, you can contact Frank McCormick, MD, when dealing with a dislocated shoulder. Dr. McCormick has extensive experience with joint injuries and specializes in shoulder injuries.  He can be reached at 1-844-LESS-DOCS for a consultation.

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