A to Z: Dislocation, Shoulder

A to Z: Dislocation, Shoulder

A to Z: Dislocation, Shoulder

A dislocation is when the ligaments that hold the bones of a joint together are stretched and the bones separate. A shoulder dislocation causes the top of the upper arm bone (humerus) to slip out of its normal position in the shoulder socket.

illustration

More to Know

The shoulder can become dislocated due to a blow to it or the upper arm, or when the shoulder gets pulled while the arm is reaching out, which often happens during sports.

A dislocated shoulder may move back into place on its own, or a doctor might gently put it back with a maneuver called a reduction. If a reduction is needed, medication is given to make the person comfortable during the maneuver.

Keep in Mind

A shoulder immobilizer or sling is usually worn for a few weeks. After the immobilizer is taken off, physical therapy is generally needed to improve shoulder strength and motion. Usually, people return to most normal activities within a couple of months, although a return to full sports participation can take longer.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) The AAOS provides information for the public on sports safety, and bone, joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries or conditions.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
OrganizationAmerican College of Sports Medicine This site has tips on staying safe while playing sports and exercising.
OrganizationNational Athletic Trainers' Association This site contains information on certified athletic trainers and tips on preventing and healing sports injuries.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
OrganizationAmerican Sports Medicine Institute The mission of ASMI is to improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries through research and education.
Related Articles
Word! Joints Joints are the places in your body where bones meet.
First Aid: Dislocations A dislocation happens when two connected bones are separated. These injuries require emergency medical care to avoid further damage.
A to Z: Dislocation, Finger A dislocation is when the bones in a joint slip out of their normal position. A finger dislocation may happen from a fall, blow, or sports injury, especially if the finger is bent back or jammed.
Dealing With Sports Injuries You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries - and how to avoid getting them.
Broken Collarbone (Clavicle Fracture) Learn about broken collarbones (or clavicle fractures), a common sports injury in kids, including how to help prevent them.
Bones, Muscles, and Joints Without bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn't stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.
A to Z: Patellar Dislocation Patellar dislocation happens when the patella (kneecap) slips out of its normal position.
Your Bones Where would you be without your bones? Learn more about the skeletal system in this article for kids.
Bones, Muscles, and Joints Our bones, muscles, and joints form our musculoskeletal system and enable us to do everyday physical activities.
Word! Dislocation We all have places on our bodies that bend, like elbows and knees.
Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.
Burner (Stinger) Burners - also called stingers - usually happen in the neck or shoulder. They take their name from the burning or stinging sensation they cause. Find out how to treat burners - and prevent them.
Preventing Children's Sports Injuries Participation in sports can teach kids sportsmanship and discipline. But sports also carry the potential for injury. Here's how to protect your kids.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter