Shoulder dislocation

What is it?

The shoulder joint or glenohumeral joint is a ball and socket joint made up of the arm bone and a shoulder socket. A dislocation occurs when the arm bone is ripped out of the socket. See Figure 1 below for an X Ray photo of such a dislocation.

What are the symptoms?

Extreme pain and a sensation that the shoulder has popped out are the most common symptoms. The arm will probably look visibly different to the other side. Extreme pain will probably be present until the shoulder reduces ie. pops back in.

Sometimes the shoulder will dislocate and immediately pop back in. This sensation will be a very sharp pain and the feeling that the shoulder is loose and has slid out of the joint and back.


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