Shoulder

Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder Dislocation Symptoms & Treatment

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the top of the upper arm bone, the humerus, slips out of the socket of the shoulder blade formed by the scapula at the shoulder joint. Because the shoulder is not as stable as other joints, this injury is common. A shoulder dislocation is extremely painful at the time of injury and should be evaluated immediately by an orthopedist. Other symptoms include: 

  • Shoulder pain
  • The arm positioned slightly away from the body with the forearm turned outward
  • A loss of the rounded contour of the deltoid muscle

Treatment

Shoulder dislocations require the shoulder to be put back into its normal position, or "reduced." The patient receives anesthesia so the doctor can manipulate the bones back into position without causing further damage to the shoulder joint. Ligaments within the shoulder are torn making the shoulder joint less stable, which may require additional treatment. If a patient continues to have recurrent or repeat shoulder dislocations, a surgical solution may be necessary.

Why choose Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists?

The shoulder doctors at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists have the training, expertise, and experience to assess, diagnose, and treat your injury or condition individually to your needs.

See a Specialist

To learn more about the treatment options available for shoulder dislocation, please request an appointment online, or call 888-660-2663.

Make an Appointment

Appointment Resources

Once you have scheduled your appointment with one of our shoulder doctors, please use the link below to obtain our new patient forms and browse through our tips and preparation suggestions for your appointment. 

Preparing for My Appointment & New Patient Forms

“I'm a physical therapy student over in Spokane. When my shoulder dislocated for the fourth time, the last being without any trauma, I knew I had to figure out what the underlying cause was. I had a frustratingly inconclusive MRI, but was referred to Dr. Kersten to discuss future options. He highly recommended an arthroscopic surgery because he felt that, given my history and future career as a PT, it was more a question of when, rather than if, my shoulder would dislocate on me again. I was hesitant at first, as this would mean taking a quarter off school and delaying my graduation. I am SO thankful that I listened to him and went ahead with the procedure. My shoulder ended up needing to be essentially reconstructed in the front, a fact I would never have known had I just gone off my MRI results. I'm almost 8 weeks out from surgery, and recovery has gone really well thus far. Every single person who saw my stitches or has seen my arthroscopic incisions has been floored at how well they look, the best I've ever seen!" I've been in almost no pain, and am regaining my strength and range of motion back with every week that passes. Thanks to Dr. Kersten for having the instinct that I needed surgery, and thanks for saving my future career!” — Caitlin S.