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Dislocated Shoulder Specialist Treating Patients in Houston, Beaumont and Cypress

Dislocated Shoulder

Playing more overhead sports activities and repeated use of shoulder at workplace may lead to sliding of the upper arm bone, the ball portion, from the glenoid–the socket portion of the shoulder. The dislocation might be a partial dislocation (subluxation) or a complete dislocation causing pain and shoulder joint instability. Shoulder joint often dislocates in the forward direction (anterior instability) and it may also dislocate in backward or downward direction.

Most common symptoms of shoulder dislocation are pain and shoulder joint instability. Other symptoms such as swelling, numbness and bruising may occur. At times, it may cause tear in the ligaments or tendons of the shoulder and nerve damage. Your doctor will examine your shoulder and may order an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.

The condition is treated by a process called closed reduction which involves placing the ball of the upper arm back into the socket. Following this, the shoulder will be immobilized using a sling for several weeks. Ice may be applied over the area for 3-4 times a day. Rehabilitation exercises may be started to restore range of motion, once the pain and swelling decrease.

Your shoulder joint consists of bones, muscles and cartilage connected to each other. The top of your arm bone has a rounded head that fits into a socket in your shoulder blade. When you have a dislocated shoulder, the top of your arm bone moves out of the socket. This condition causes discomfort and limited mobility. Fortunately, Dr. Gombera helps patients like you in Houston, Beaumont and Cypress. He can identify the problem and get your shoulder back to the way it was in no time.

Which Kind of Shoulder Dislocation Do I Have?

Shoulder dislocations fall into three categories:

  • Anterior dislocation: The top of your arm bone moves toward the front of your body. About 95 percent of shoulder dislocations are anterior dislocations.
  • Posterior dislocation: The top of your arm bone moves toward the back of your body. Around two to four percent of shoulder dislocations are posterior dislocations.
  • Inferior dislocations: The top of your arm bone moves downward instead of forward or backward. Less than one percent of shoulder dislocations happen this way.

What Causes a Shoulder Dislocation?

Shoulder dislocations happen the most to younger and older adults. Younger adults usually have dislocations due to sports injuries. Meanwhile, older adults have looser shoulder joints that can cause them to dislocate during a fall. Athletes of any age who play overhead sports activities frequently have a higher risk of dislocation, as do heavy laborers who use their shoulders. Hockey and football players have an especially high risk. Trauma to the shoulder causes the majority of dislocations.

What Are Common Dislocated Shoulder Symptoms?

A dislocated shoulder creates symptoms such as:

  • Severe pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Visible deformities such as a hard knot under the skin or an oddly shaped shoulder
  • Bruising in patients who have a dislocation due to injury

If your dislocated shoulder causes other kinds of shoulder problems, you'll also have the symptoms of those problems. You may have a fracture, nerve damage, a rotator cuff tear or another form of injury to your shoulder.

How Does Dr. Gombera Diagnose Shoulder Dislocations?

Dr. Gombera will compare your affected shoulder with your unaffected shoulder. He'll look for differences in shape, size, range of motion, pain and muscle strength. During the examination, he'll feel for the displaced bone. Also, he'll check the pulse in your arm and its response to touch to determine if you have any issues with your nerves or blood vessels. If Dr. Gombera thinks you could have a dislocated shoulder, he'll order X-rays to confirm the diagnosis.

Will I Need Dislocated Shoulder Surgery?

Dislocated shoulder treatment does not involve surgery. Instead, Dr. Gombera uses a technique called closed reduction. During closed reduction, he slips the top of your arm bone back into its socket. If you have muscle spasms in your shoulder, he'll make sure they relax before he places the bone. He'll also relieve your dislocated shoulder pain so that the process doesn't cause more pain. Many patients stop feeling severe pain once their arm bone gets back into place, but you'll probably feel some discomfort as you recover.

When a shoulder dislocation causes another problem, Dr. Gombera uses conservative treatments first. Many shoulder issues can recover on their own with proper rest and care. When non-surgical approaches don't work, he'll use a procedure like a shoulder arthroscopy.

What Should I Expect After Dislocated Shoulder Treatment?

After your closed reduction, Dr. Gombera will put your shoulder in a sling. Depending on your age and other factors, you'll have the sling for about one to four weeks. Plenty of rest and ice will help the pain and swelling go down.

After you have reduced swelling and pain, you can begin physical therapy. The exercises will help your muscles recover and regain strength. Taking care of your shoulder will lower your risk of another dislocation. Patients who have their first shoulder dislocation at a young age have a higher chance of suffering from another one.

Dislocated Shoulder Treatment From Mufaddal Gombera, MD

Dr. Gombera welcomes patients in Houston, Beaumont and Cypress to schedule an appointment. Book a visit today using our online tool or by calling (713) 794-3457.

 


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American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Arthroscopy Association of North America american shoulder and elbow society international society for hip arthroscopy