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Shoulder Dislocations and Instability Treatment in Glendale, CA

If the humeral head slips out of the socket completely, this is a dislocation. A partial slip is called a subluxation. Shoulder dislocations can occur from direct blow to the shoulder or a hyperextension injury. Ninety percent of dislocations are anterior, meaning the ball slips out in front of the socket. The labrum is a cartilage ring that helps deepen the socket to provide stability to the shoulder joint, and it is the site of attachment for the ligaments that support the shoulder. It is also the site of attachment of the long head of the biceps. The dislocation causes tearing of the labrum at the front and bottom part of the shoulder called a Bankart lesion. In some cases, the back side humeral head will hit the front of the socket creating a dent in the ball called a Hill Sachs lesion.

Shoulder dislocations require a reduction (putting the ball back into the socket). Sometimes this can be done right away, as is seen in sports. This should only be performed by a team doctor or athletic trainer with experience.

Most of the time, patients with a shoulder dislocation will be brought to the emergency room. There, X-rays will be obtained, and a reduction will be performed under sedation after administration of pain medicine. X-rays will be taken again after reduction to confirm the shoulder is back in place. Sling use is recommended for 2-6 weeks.

Once in the orthopedic clinic, examination of the shoulder will be performed, and an MRI will be ordered to evaluate the extent of labrum tearing. Definitive treatment is based upon on the patients’ age and activity level. Young patients, especially those in sports, have a high likelihood of recurrent instability. Therefore, surgery is often recommended in these cases. As with all patients at Glendale Orthopedics, your treatment will be individualized after a thorough discussion with your surgeon.

Contact Glendale Orthopedics today to get help for your shoulder treatments.

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