Severe Should Pain

An experience with a shoulder injury can lead to either a dislocated shoulder or separation of a shoulder. A shoulder dislocation is when the bone comes out of the shoulder socket, causing joint instability. Shoulder separation does not affect the joint instead the ligament is torn. The approach to the management of both shoulder injuries is different.


Dislocated shoulder

A dislocated shoulder requires treatment immediately to put the arm bone back into the socket. The doctor will manually place the arm bone back into the socket in the first step. Once placed in position, an x-ray is done to ensure the repositioning of the bone. After repositioning, pain may be felt and the doctor will recommend anti-inflammatory medications and ice application. A sling may be required for a week to accelerate healing, and light exercises may be used to avoid freezing the shoulder.

When to consider surgery

In most cases, repairing a dislocated shoulder with surgery is not needed. However, in a severely dislocated shoulder or if bones or tendons are damaged, then surgery may be necessary. Additionally, if a patient experiences shoulder dislocation more than once, then the doctor may perform surgery.

Repairing a separated shoulder

A shoulder separation is managed with conservative treatments initially. Non-surgical options such as medications, ice, or sling use are ways to manage symptoms in most patients. In most cases, people with this type of shoulder injury recover well with non-surgical treatments. Doctors often recommend surgery if the shoulder is severely separated.

Healing time

Every patient recovers from an injury at a different rate. Shoulder separation heals quicker than shoulder dislocation. A separated shoulder takes about 6 weeks to recover. A shoulder dislocation can take up to 12 weeks to recuperate. A patient recovering from shoulder separation may be left with a permanent painless bump.

Avoiding future injury

A person can avoid getting another shoulder injury by taking the necessary precautions. Exercising shoulder muscles daily will strengthen the shoulder. Stop any activity that exacerbates shoulder pain or other symptoms. To prevent another dislocated shoulder, wear protective padding. Apply ice after exercise to avoid another incident of shoulder separation.

Leading a normal life post-shoulder injury

Once a shoulder has been dislocated, proper care and attention are necessary to avoid another similar incident. A brace can help in chronic shoulder dislocation. Most patients with shoulder separation have a good outlook and recover without serious consequences. Seek immediate medical help in the presence of a shoulder injury. Regardless of the diagnosis, inquire about treatment options, possible complications, and prognosis of the shoulder injury.

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