A dislocation of the shoulder (glenohumeral joint) occurs when the ball of the joint is forced out of its socket damaging associated soft tissues in the process.
The shoulder joint comprises of a large diameter ball in a shallow socket. The joint relies on the action of the four supporting muscles– Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Subscapularis and Teres Minor – which form the Rotator Cuff and which allow movement to take place.
Due to it’s structure and the large range of movements that are available at the shoulder joint, it can be relatively easily dislocated typically in contact sports or by a fall on the outstretched arm.
Dependant on the exact type of trauma, the head of the humerus bone can dislocate anteriorly or posteriorly. The dislocation is generally reduced under anaesthetic (put back in joint) and the shoulder is immobilised in a sling for a short period of time before rehabilitation is commenced.
Physiotherapy treatment to the dislocated shoulder will comprise of gentle mobilisation to restore movement and functional strengtheningto reduce the risk of recurrent dislocation.
In some cases where the dislocation has become recurrent, surgery may be required to stabilise the joint after which an extensive Rehabilitation Programme will be required to restore full function to the shoulder. We will work closely with your specialist in these cases to ensure optimal, safe recovery.
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