Dislocation of shoulder joint

Shoulder | Orthopaedics | Dislocation of shoulder joint (Disease)


The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body and allows the arm to move in many directions. This ability to move makes the joint inherently unstable and also makes the shoulder the most often dislocated joint in the body.

The most common symptom of a shoulder dislocation includes severe shoulder pain and a deformed shoulder. The shoulder may be bruised, swollen, and tender. Additional symptoms of a shoulder dislocation may include arm weakness and arm numbness.

Causes and Risk factors

A dislocated shoulder occurs when the humerus separates from the scapula at the glenohumeral joint. The shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body and as a result is particularly susceptible to dislocation and subluxation. Approximately half of major joint dislocations seen in emergency departments are of the shoulder. Partial dislocation of the shoulder is referred to as subluxation.

A person with a shoulder dislocation has abnormal alignment of the humerus and the scapula at the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. A depression in the scapula, known as the glenoid, provides the socket for the top of the humerus. In an anterior shoulder dislocation, the top of the humerus lies in front of the scapula. In a posterior shoulder dislocation, the top of the humerus lies behind the scapula. A shoulder dislocation is caused by a force that bends or twists the shoulder beyond the normal range of motion. The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The purpose of the initial treatment of a dislocated shoulder is to reduce the dislocation and return the humeral head to its normal place in the glenoid fossa. There are a variety of methods that may be used to achieve this goal. ...