Dislocated shoulder

What is it?

A dislocated shoulder after injury can occur both anteriorly (more common) and posteriorly. This injury results in damage to the ligaments and articular lip.

Causes and risk factors

Often as a result of a traumatic event or, much more rarely, due to a degenerative pathology. If not properly diagnosed and treated, this can lead to relapses over time, as the structures responsible for stability (capsule and ligaments) tend to degenerate with repeated dislocations, resulting in chronic instability of the shoulder.

Which are the symptoms?

In the acute phase after a dislocation episode, the pain symptom is very severe, associated with a severe restriction of movement until the dislocation is repositioned using a special manipulation (often performed in the emergency department). In patients with repeated dislocations, there is a symptom of impossibility with the sensation defined by the patient as a "very mobile" shoulder.

How is it diagnosed?

A dislocated shoulder is easily diagnosed on examination; X-rays confirm this and excludes concomitant fractures. Magnetic resonance imaging or CT scan in recurrent dislocations allows the capsule and ligaments to be examined and the integrity of the bone to be seen.

Suggested exams

How is it treated?

Conservative therapy with physiotherapy, after a period of appropriate immobilization with a brace, is the treatment used for the first episode of dislocation.  Surgical treatment using arthroscopy of the shoulder joint or the Latarjet technique is indicated in cases of recurrent dislocation.

Suggested procedures

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