A shoulder dislocation means that the head of the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder socket so that the shoulder joint no longer works properly. The dislocation can put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in your child’s shoulder and arm and damage them.
The healing process may take 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the injury. With proper healing, your child should regain full movement of the shoulder.
A shoulder dislocation can be caused by a fall onto the hand or shoulder, by twisting the upper arm, or if your child’s arm is forced into an awkward position. It may also be caused by weak or loose ligaments that your child was born with. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. Other members of your family may have the same problem.
Symptoms may include:
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Your child will have X-rays.
A dislocated shoulder needs treatment right away to prevent permanent damage to the nerves and blood vessels.
The healthcare provider will put the bones back in the right position. Before the procedure your child will be given medicine to help him relax, but may be awake during the procedure. Your child may be given medicine to keep him from feeling pain when this is done. The healthcare provider will place your child’s shoulder and arm in a type of sling called a shoulder immobilizer. It keeps his arm next to his body and stops your child from moving his injured shoulder. Your child will wear the immobilizer for 4 to 6 weeks. Your child may start rehabilitation exercises during this time or after he is no longer wearing the immobilizer.
In some cases, surgery may be needed. If your child’s shoulder joint dislocates often, your child may need surgery to tighten the ligaments that hold the joint together.
Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider. In addition:
Ask your healthcare provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.