Dislocated shoulder


An injury known as a dislocated shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone pops out of the shoulder blade’s cup-shaped socket. Because it is the body’s most flexible joint, the shoulder is more susceptible to dislocation.

Seek immediate medical assistance if you think you may have a dislocated shoulder. Within a few weeks, most people can use their shoulder fully again and a shoulder may be more prone to subsequent dislocations after one, though.


Symptoms of a dislocated shoulder include:

  • Extreme pain
  • The joint cannot be moved
  • An apparent misalignment or deformity of the shoulder
  • Swollen or bruised area
  • Spasm of the muscle
  • Arm, hand, or finger numbness, tingling, or weakness

Numbness, weakness, or tingling near the injury, such as in the neck or the arm, can also result from a dislocated shoulder. The shoulder muscles could spasm, which would make the pain worse.

You should seek immediate medical care if you experience any of these symptoms.

Prior to receiving medical care:

  • Immobilize the joint. Keep the shoulder joint where it is by splinting or slinging it. Never attempt to maneuver the shoulder or push it back into position. The shoulder joint and the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels around it, may suffer harm as a result.
  • Ice the injured joint. Ice the shoulder to help with pain relief and swelling reduction.


The shoulder joint is the most common dislocated joint in the body. The shoulder can be dislocate in three directions: forward, backward, or downward, and it could totally or partially dislocate.

The front of the shoulder is where the majority of dislocations happen. The shoulder’s ligaments, which connect the bones, can be strained or ripped, which frequently makes the dislocation worse.

The bones must be pulled out of alignment by a powerful force, such as a swift hit to the shoulder. The upper arm bone’s ball can be forced out of the shoulder socket by a severe twisting of the shoulder joint. The upper arm bone is partially in and partially out of the shoulder socket in a partial dislocation.

The common cause of shoulder dislocation include:

  • Sports injuries. A shoulder dislocation is a common injury in contact sports like football and hockey. It is also typical in sports like volleyball, gymnastics, and downhill skiing, which may entail falls.
  • Trauma not related to sports. During a car collision, a severe impact to the shoulder may result in dislocation.
  • Falls. Shoulders can become dislocated if they land awkwardly following a fall, such as from a ladder or one caused by tripping over a loose rug.

Risk factors

Anyone can dislocate a shoulder. Dislocated shoulders do, however, most frequently affect people in their teens and early 20s, especially athletes who play contact sports.