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Shoulder Dislocation Specialist

Rapid City Orthopedics

Joseph L Humpherys, D.O.

Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine located in Rapid City, SD

Dislocating your shoulder is a traumatic and painful experience that can leave you with long-term shoulder instability. But you can avoid this by visiting Joseph Humpherys, DO, at Rapid City Orthopedics in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dr. Humpherys is fellowship-trained in shoulder surgeries like arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs and reconstruction. To benefit from his experience and avoid the problems a shoulder dislocation can cause, call the Rapid City office today or book an appointment online.

Shoulder Dislocation Q&A

What is a shoulder dislocation?

A shoulder dislocation happens when the ball-shaped bone at the top of your upper arm pops out of its socket in your shoulder blade. Dislocation can be partial or total. Because shoulders are in constant motion, they’re more likely to dislocate than other joints.

Shoulder dislocation typically causes sudden, severe pain as the joint comes apart. You’ll be able to see the joint’s unnatural shape, and you’re unlikely to be able to move your arm. Swelling and bruising develop in the damaged tissues.

You might also feel tingling sensations and weakness in your neck or down your arm. These areas can go numb, and the shoulder muscles can suffer painful spasms.

What causes a shoulder dislocation?

Dislocating a joint requires significant force to disconnect the upper arm bone from the socket. This can involve a violent blow to the shoulder or extreme rotation of the joint. Sports injuries, auto accidents, and falls are the most common causes of shoulder dislocation.

Separating the joint in such a forceful way usually causes additional shoulder injuries. These include rotator cuff tears that damage the muscles and tendons and labral tears to the cartilage ring inside the socket.

Dislocations and the accompanying injuries increase your risk of shoulder instability. That means your shoulder is more likely to dislocate again.

What should I do if I dislocate my shoulder?

If you suffer a shoulder dislocation, don’t try to move the joint or push it back into place. If you’re with someone, ask them to put your arm in a sling to reduce the weight on your shoulder. You can apply ice packs to keep the swelling and pain under control.

The hospital emergency room team uses expert techniques to safely put the ball back into its socket. As soon as it’s back in position, you should have less pain. Visit Rapid City Orthopedics for an assessment and additional treatment.

What treatments might I need for a shoulder dislocation?

Dr. Humpherys assesses your shoulder and looks for signs of instability in the joint. He might want to view images from a CT scan or MRI to get a clearer picture of the damage.

If tissues need repair, Dr. Humpherys can use an arthroscope to examine the joint. The arthroscope goes through an incision into your shoulder. It has a tiny camera that sends back images of the joint for Dr. Humpherys to view on a monitor.

With the images to guide him, Dr. Humpherys uses additional instruments to carry out any repairs needed. These can include removing damaged tissues and debris like bone fragments. He can also perform advanced surgeries like tendon reconstruction.

If you dislocate your shoulder, make sure you get expert treatment by calling Rapid City Orthopedics. You can also use the online form today to book an appointment.