Shoulder dislocation may be diagnosed through:
Shoulder dislocations are considered medical emergencies. Early reduction of the shoulder dislocation back in place reduces the risk of cartilage damage and post-traumatic arthritis. It also improves the chances of achieving a closed reduction without requiring surgery.
During treatment for a shoulder dislocation:
It will take a few weeks to recover from a shoulder dislocation.
Do check with your doctor before resuming activities that stress the shoulder. This includes sports, gardening, heavy-lifting or reaching above the shoulder.
Usually no surgery is necessary, especially if the shoulder has been dislocated for the first time. If a shoulder dislocation is treated early, shoulder function can be fully regained.
With recurrent dislocations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerised tomography (CT) scans may be needed to evaluate for injury to the labrum and rotator cuff, and to see if there are bony fractures of the glenoid (socket) or humeral head (ball).
Surgery repair may be required. This can often be done through arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery, although in severe cases, open reconstruction may be required.