Why and how do Shoulder Dislocations happen?

by May 31, 2022

A shoulder can dislocate when the humerus (ball of your arm) is forced out of the glenoid labrum (socket). Shoulder subluxation is a partial shoulder dislocation when the shoulder joint comes part-way out before relocating on its own. 

There are 3 ways a shoulder can be dislocated:

1. Traumatic Shoulder Dislocation – this occurs when your shoulder is in a vulnerable position and is forced out at speed. Commonly this is with your arm out to the side of you e.g. during a rugby tackle. 

2. Repetitive Shoulder Ligament Overstrain – people with more lax ligaments in their shoulders can dislocate their shoulders fairly easily. This increased passive shoulder instability is due to your anatomy or a result of repetitive overstretching of the shoulder joint. Loose shoulder ligaments make it harder for your shoulder’s stabilising muscles to maintain your shoulder stability. 

3. Multi-Directional Instability – In a small number of patients, your shoulder is unstable in multiple directions due to your genetic disposition. In these patients, the shoulder may feel loose or dislocate repeatedly in multiple directions. 

Anterior Vs Posterior: 

In 97% of first-time dislocators, the humerus is forced anteriorly (forward) out of the socket. This usually happens at force with the arm in an outstretched position. In an acute scenario, at least an Xray should be obtained to ensure no ligamentous or bony damage has been done to either the ball or the socket. 

In the other 3% of dislocations, the humerus pushed posterior (backward) out of the socket. There is usually an indirect force applied to the front of the shoulder such as in a car accident, or falling on your elbow. These should also be checked with imaging. 

If you think you had a shoulder dislocation come to WISE Emergency Clinic. We have Specialist Emergency Doctors who can treat and diagnose you within 1 hour, X-rays and ultrasounds available on-site, and an amazing team of physiotherapists SIM physio that will take care of your recovery plan.

Read More

Covid-19 test

COVID-19 Testing for travel

COVID-19 Testing for travel  With international travel ramping up WiSE is happy to help you get on your way. WiSE has been accredited by the International Airline Transport Association (IATA) to issue travel PCR tests.  A PCR test looks for fragments of...

Should you ice after an injury?
Blog, Press

Should you ice after an injury?

Over the past 5 years, there has been a topical debate over whether we should ice after an injury or not. In 1978 we used the acronym RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation,) to treat any soft tissue injury. This acronym has evolved over the years to PRICE...

The "new" normal
Blog, Press

The ‘New’ Normal!

The first time your cat rested itself upon your keyboard was cute. The second..third - fourth time, a little less cute, a little more diabolical.  We are seeing laws relax and people and businesses itching to return to work. Businesses across every sector are...

Where have all the patients gone?
Blog, Press

Where Have All The Patients Gone?

Hallmarking the signs of war - fear and terror preparing for the onslaught. Battle shields (face) ready. Through the wall and doors - burst like a ruthless force. Reasonable preparation as we watched our Italian colleagues decide who lives or dies. The Trolley...