A dislocation of the shoulder joint refers to when the top of the arm bone comes out of and stays out of its socket. All in all 50% of joint dislocations affect the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint (Alkaduhimi et al., 2016).
Classic shoulder dislocation usually occurs through an impact on the abducted, externally rotated and extended arm (Alkaduhimi et al., 2016). The top of the arm bone may be caused to ‘pop out’ or dislocate, meaning that the ball-shaped top of the arm bone is pushed out of its socket.
The rate of recurrence is high, particularly in the under 20-year age group. Children are more likely to fracture the proximal humerus (arm bone). Patients over 40 years have a high incidence of complete rupture of the supraspinatus tendon which may require surgery.
Management of this condition should involve an x-ray to exclude any fractures, a period of immobility in a sling, followed by a strengthening programme to prevent reoccurrence. Surgical stabilisation is an option in repetitive dislocations.
Alkaduhimi H. et al., 2016, A systematic and technical guide on how to reduce a shoulder dislocation, Turkish Journal of Emergency Medicine, 16(4), pp: 155-168