An injury in the shoulder that causes the upper arm bone to pop out of the socket at the shoulder joint is considered as dislocation of the shoulder. It could either be partial or complete dislocation and based on this, the pain and instability vary. Sports injuries, falls, and accidents can lead to dislocation of the shoulder.
Usually, when there is a shoulder dislocation, the doctor would advise immediate treatment. The main concern is to get back the arm bone in position, thus improving the stability of the shoulder. A complete evaluation of the patient’s history and the medical background will be done before the treatment.
With the help of X-rays, an MRI scan, and a CT scan, the doctor would be able to examine and identify the main reason for shoulder dislocation. Depending on the condition of the dislocated shoulder, the doctor would recommend either nonsurgical methods or surgical methods to treat shoulder dislocation.
The nonsurgical treatments would be suggested by the doctor when it is only for ligament laxity and multidirectional instability. If there is already permanent damage, then nonsurgical treatments will not be suggested as they may not provide the expected outcome.
The most common surgical procedures to treat a dislocated shoulder would be arthroscopy and open surgery. This is performed to treat the torn ligaments and to bring back shoulder movements by making it stable.
Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive surgery where there is a tiny camera used to perform the surgery with certain special pencil-thin instruments. A small incision is made on the shoulder joint, and then the surgeon will reposition the torn ligament or labrum to the bone. This is performed under general anesthesia.
On the other hand, open shoulder surgery uses large incisions on the shoulder. This would be performed to repair injured tendons, ligaments, or labrum to examine the damage caused on the joints or the bone. The surgeon would take a bone usually from the top of the hip bone and shape it to fit to create a deeper socket. This bone graft fuses with the shoulder socket to form a solid bone. This open shoulder surgery provides stability for the shoulder and helps to keep the arm bone in the right place.
The doctor would prescribe a few medicines, physical therapy, and to wear a sling for a few weeks until the shoulder is strong and stable. Within a few weeks, the shoulder would be completely stabilized.